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Student Debt Linked to Worse Health and Less Wealth – Gallup

College graduates who carry a high amount of student debt appear to face long-term challenges that stretch beyond just their finances. A new analysis of Americans who graduated college between 1990 and 2014 shows that graduates who took on the highest amounts of student debt, $50,000 or more, are less likely than their fellow graduates who did not borrow for college to be thriving in four of five elements of well-being: purpose, financial, community, and physical.  Although graduates with no student loan debt are slightly more likely than their indebted peers to be thriving socially, the differences are not statistically significant. Gallup finds the starkest differences among these groups in the areas of financial and physical well-being. Higher debt signifies lower likelihood of thriving in these two areas of well-being. Graduates who went the deepest into debt to obtain their college degree, for instance, are far less likely to be thriving than graduates who took out no debt, by 15 percentage points in financial well-being and 10 points in physical well-being. The pattern is similar for graduates’ sense of purpose, although those who borrowed over $50,000 are just as likely to be thriving in this element as those who borrowed $25,001 to $50,000. The relationship is less straightforward for graduates’ community well-being, though again, graduates who took on the most debt for their degree are less likely to be thriving in this element than those who did not take out any loans for their undergraduate education.”


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