Educated Americans Have More Debt Woes

They 'thought they were immune' to the financial crisis

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff | Suggested by Guvner

Posted Oct 28, 2012 4:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – Think highly educated Americans came out better in the 2008 financial crash? According to two new studies, those with college degrees actually took on more unmanageable debt than other Americans, reports Time. "People with college educations may have thought they were immune to any economic problems," says Sherman Hanna, who co-authored the research. "But when people stop believing things might go bad, that’s when they get in trouble."

Researchers drew the line of "unmanageable debt" at the point where monthly household debt payments equaled 40% of income. More than one in four Americans crossed that line in 2008, up from 17% in 1992—and highly educated people were more likely to be among them. What's more, 35% of renters were in that group compared to just 21% of homeowners, showing "that the financial crisis wasn’t all about housing speculation," says Hanna. "There was too much debt in all parts of the economy.”

A rich man's C-note goes up in flames.
A rich man's C-note goes up in flames.   (Shutterstock)
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