The 40% statistic isn't misleading, it's exactly what the New York Times wrote in an article
. While it might amaze people when considering that college education generally comes with a higher paying job, it's likely that people simply forgot
to pay their student loans. Pre-pandemic, as much as everything was great, "...nearly half of student loan borrowers were behind on their payments or enrolled in relief measures for those struggling, including deferments or forbearances..." So maybe student loans are performing better than pre-pandemic as only 40% of borrowers haven't made payments vs 50%.
As much as I would be concerned on the financial well-being of Gen Z, there are signs that they're doing better than we realize financially:
- they're doing better in home ownership than compared to Gen X and Gen Y at their age (source)
- they're investing younger than previous generations (source)
- they're saving and investing more for retirement at their age than previous generations (source) (source)
- they're more entrepreneurial and have more side hustles compared to older generations (source)
- they're the generation of optimists (source)
- they're the most financially savvy generation (source)
Maybe Gen Z simply got hooked on a rabbit hole in Tik Tok and forgot that it was time to pay their student loans. Once they start paying their student loans, hopefully things will be better for the economy and for Gen Z themselves. Student loans may look big but with the higher paying jobs they're getting, student loans are more manageable than what the perma bears would tell you. Consumer spending will be down because of student loan payments resuming but in the long run, consumer spending will continue to rise thanks to inflation and a thriving economy. As they say, in inflationary times, it's better to borrow money than it is to lend money.