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Student Loan Debt: Implications on Financial and Emotional Wellness

Jul 12, 2019

Key Takeaways

  • The emotional burden of student debt often leaves people frustrated and/or angry.
  • Lack of knowledge can lead to bad decisions on terms and conditions of student loans.
  • Many would do things differently when it comes to taking on student debt.


This Prudential study reveals how student loan debt for many graduates has become a profound source of both financial and emotional stress, compromising their ability to establish families and households, save adequately for retirement, and protect themselves against unexpected life events.

Key findings include:

  • Americans are starting to question whether college debt is “good debt”.
  • Many students borrow for school without understanding the terms of their debt.
  • Student loan debt is impacting borrowers’ financial and emotional wellness.
  • Current students and graduates alike continue to affirm the benefits of going to college.
  • Graduates’ experiences suggest a better way forward for current and future students, and they recommend best practices and action plans.


College costs, debt can impact the ability to save, buy a home, and socialize with others


The survey findings highlight both the troubling and encouraging facts surrounding student loan debt. Of concern is the trend showing many students don't know what type of loans they took out, their loan terms, or if they had a co-signer for their loans.

The positive takeaways confirm that the vast majority of graduates and current students say they would still go to college even if they had known more about the financial challenges when they started. And they continue to value the potentially life-changing benefits of higher education.


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Read the full story for best practices and action plans for future students, current students, and recent graduates: Student Loan Debt: Implications on Financial and Emotional Wellness   PDF opens in a new window

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