A College Degree Makes It Harder to Afford a Home

California Bungalow

In the last few years that I taught I was telling students that they could actually make more money over their lifetime if they did NOT go to college.  I explained that acquiring student loans at the beginning of their adult years was counterintuitive to making decent or lots of money over their lifetime. Why saddle yourself with student loans that might take ten or more years to pay off over a degree that has an 80% chance of being worthless in the marketplace?  An English degree allows one to be a journalist or a high school teacher.  Not gonna get rich with those professions.  Not even sure you’re gonna be able to pay off your student loans with those professions.  Even doctors who graduate from Med School are strapped with tens of thousands of dollars before they even begin their practice.  And when they start working they are not earning enough to pay down what amounts to a monthly mortgage but without a home.  Plumbers make decent money.  You start as a plumber’s assistant.  Work for one to two years, get licensed, and start service.  Plumbers get paid big bucks.  Electricians too.  Construction workers get paid well.  No degree is needed for any of these admirable professions.  Be a real estate agent.  If someone wants to teach, he can do that online in the form of YouTube videos.  Create your own classroom, like this guy has.  By encouraging kids not to go to college I was not trying to discourage them from their dreams.  College is not the only place to learn, you know.  Go to a library.  Check out books.  Talk to history teachers or English teachers or Math and Science teachers and ask them what their 10 Most Influential books have been.  That should be enough to start.  Learning is forever.  No one stops learning ever.  No one stops solving problems ever.  Survival depends on it.

Now comes this brief article telling us that a college degree provides no advantage for anyone when it comes to buying a house.

A new study from Trulia shows that those with a college degree are not saving up for their 20% down payment on their first house any faster than those without a college degree.

“In those markets, a household with a college degree isn’t making that much more than a household without,” said Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s housing economist. “The burden that student debt brings to a household with a college degree makes it slower to save for a down payment.”

A home is the biggest purchase most people will make, and there’s been a lack of buying activity among Millennials. Student loan debt tends to get blamed. While going to college usually means higher lifetime earnings, hefty student loans can erode savings and make it harder to accumulate a down payment.


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