Meet the typical 40-year-old millennial, who has $128,000 in debt, is not nearly as wealthy as their parents were, and is known as ‘geriatric’

millennial
The oldest millennials turn 40 this year.

The oldest millennials enter middle age this year.

The generation turns ages 25 to 40 in 2021, per the Pew Research Center’s definition. Like everyone, millennials are aging. But it’s a hard concept to grasp when the media narrative has painted millennials as young, frivolous 20-somethings who love selfies and can’t afford anything because they spend too much money on avocado toast.

It’s an inaccurate picture of the entire generation, which has been shaped by technological advancements and a broken economy. But the typical 40-year-old millennial especially doesn’t quite align with this image. Many feel they embody some characteristics of both Gen X and millennials, having experience with both analog and digital worlds.

Millennials are known for battling a series of economic challenges, from student debt to the Great Recession. The typical 40-year-old millennial bore the brunt of the financial crisis, leaving them with less wealth and more debt than past generations at their age. But, compared to their younger generational peers, they have less student debt and are more likely to own homes and have kids – a sign that many have been able to recover from the financial fallout.

Here’s what life looks like for the typical 40-year-old millennial.

The typical 40-year-old millennial was one of those hardest hit by the Great Recession.

40 year old millennial

When the 2007 financial crisis began, the 40-year-old millennial was 26, an age at which most of the generation hadn’t yet accumulated substantial wealth. It’s this cohort that bore the true brunt of the financial crisis,which left lingering effects a dozen years later when the coronavirus recession rolled around.

From the very beginning of their careers, they entered a dismal labor market that set them up for a long recovery.

“Millennials have lifelong damage, given the severity of the Great Recession,” Mark Muro, a senior fellow and policy director at the Brookings Institution, previously told Insider, adding that “older millennials were squarely hammered.”

 

Their early post-graduate years were marked by a tough job market that led to wage stagnation. The typical 40-year-old millennial earns $73,000 a year.

office worker

Boomers earned around $72,000 at that age, while Gen X earned around $68,000, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Federal Reserve data. That is all to say: wages have remained stagnant since 1989.

Wages haven’t kept up with soaring living costs for everything from healthcare to housing, creating a financial imbalance that’s been difficult for the 40-year-old millennial to rectify.

 

It’s made building wealth difficult. With a net worth of $91,000, the typical 40-year-old millennial is only 80% as wealthy as their parents were at their age.

Stressed woman

At age 40, Gen X was worth $94,000. Boomers held $112,000 in wealth at that age, per Bloomberg.

But the oldest millennials are catching up. A 2018 St. Louis Fed study originally found that those born in the 1980s have median levels 34% below older generations, causing the Fed to deem them at risk of becoming a “lost generation” for wealth accumulation.

“Not only is their wealth shortfall in 2016 very large in percentage terms, but the typical 1980s family actually lost ground in relative terms between 2010 and 2016, a period of rapidly rising asset values that buoyed the wealth of all older cohorts,” the 2018 report read.

A follow-up study in 2021 found 1980s millennials gained some ground, narrowing their wealth deficit to 11%. “It turns out that millennials may not be as ‘lost’ as we once thought,” according to the report. 

 

 

They also have $128,000 in debt. While some of this may be from student loans, they don’t carry the weight of student debt as much as younger millennials

Student loan debt

This debt is way more than what Gen X and boomers had at age 40 — $94,000 and $112,000, respectively, per Bloomberg.

One might first look to student loans as the source of this debt. College tuition has more than doubled since the 1980s, and student-loan debt reached a national high of $1.5 trillion in 2019. Many millennials are shouldering their share of this burden.

The typical 40-year-old millennial entered college in 1999, and graduated in 2003 (under a typical four-year plan). According to an analysis by the research team at Education Data, 73% of students graduating that year took out a student loan. That year, the average debt at graduation per student was $16,070, equivalent to $22,170 today.

But that’s not as much as the typical youngest millennial, who turns 25 this year. They graduated with about $29,500 in student debt.

 

It’s likely a good chunk of that debt comes from a mortgage. The typical 40-year-old millennial owns a home.

house

According to an Insider analysis of 2019 American Community Survey microdata from the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS program, 61.9% of 40-year-old millennials (who were 38 when the survey was taken) own a home.

However, that’s still lower than previous generations at that age: 68% of Gen X and 66% for boomers. As housing prices climbed over the years, millennials began renting longer and buying later. While some have finally been able to afford a house amid low interest rates during pandemic, the demand has exacerbated a historic housing shortage that has pushed homeonwership further out of reach for other millennials.

The homeowning life stage means that most 40-year-old millennials have a mortgage. It aligns with previous findings from an Insider and Morning Consult survey, which found that’s it not just student-loan debt millennials are swimming in. A mortgage is typically their biggest debt, according to the survey. 

 

They also have kids. Achieving these standard life milestones is a sign that many have caught up from the delayed effects of the Great Recession.

mother baby

“The oldest millennials delayed many of the traditional markers of adulthood, such as marriage, kids, and buying homes, as they went through the eye of the Great Recession and the long and uneven recovery afterward,” Jason Dorsey, a consultant and president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, previously told Insider

As millennials delay marriage and homeownership, they’ve delayed childbearing until they they felt more financially sound. More women are having kids at a later age than ever.

But as of 2019, 66% of 40-year-old millennials (who were 38 at the time), have kids, according Insider’s analysis of 2019 American Community Survey microdata from the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS program.

But the typical 40-year-old millennial dissociates from their generation. Caught between Gen X and millennials, they almost feel generationless.

older millennial

As Alisha Tillery wrote for Shondaland, being the oldest millennial “is to be an outlier of sorts, to really have no generation to identify with at all, yet be perfectly okay with not fitting into one box or the other.”

“We are caught in a tight space that remembers the days of old (before Google, Facebook, and YouTube), but is also intrigued by the future and a new way of doing things,” she added.

Jessica Guinn Johnson, an attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, born in 1981, told Tillery, “I never found that I fit in the millennial mold, but identified more with Gen X.”

Robert L. Reece, a University of Texas-Austin sociology professor, told Tillery there’s validity in classifying oneself as a millennial but not identifying with the typical characteristics of the generation.

It explains why the 40-year-old millennial is largely seen as being part of a microgeneration, for which there have been many names.

geriatric millennial

As Tillery wrote, some millennials feel they better identify with the cusper (someone who straddles two generations) term Xennial. It describes a micro-generation “that serves as a bridge between the disaffection of Gen X and the blithe optimism of millennials,” Sarah Stankorb wrote for Good Magazine in 2014.

In a Medium article that went viral in the spring, author and leadership expert Erica Dhawan called the micro-generation that the 40-year-old millennial falls into “geriatric millennials,” which she defines as those born between 1980 and 1985. What sets them apart, she recently told Insider, is their experience with technology.

 

The typical 40-year-old millennial remembers PCs, the days of early dial-up, and MySpace, but also feels comfortable on TikTok and Clubhouse.

clubhouse app

Whereas younger millennials don’t know a world without digital tools as a primary form of communication, the eldest millennials remember when they were very primitive.

“They were the first generation to grow up with a PC in their homes. They joined the first social media communities on Facebook and MySpace. They remember dial-up connections, collect calls, and punch cards,” Dhawan previously told Insider, adding they also remember things like Napster for burning CDs, as well as the regular flip phone. 

But while they’re fluent in the early days of the internet and digital technology, they’ve also been able to easily adapt to newer forms of digital media, like TikTok, which may be unfamiliar to older generations like baby boomers and commonplace among younger generations like Gen Z.

“This is a unique cohort that straddles digital natives and digital adapters,” Dhawan said.

 

But straddling a digital divide means the typical 40-year-old millennial is an asset in the workforce.

business meeting

With the skills of both older and younger generations, Dhawan said, they can bridge communication styles in the workplace.

For example, she said, a geriatric millennial would know to send a Slack message to a Gen Z co-worker instead of calling them out of the blue, which they might find alarming. But they would also know to be mindful of an older co-worker’s video background and help walk them through such technology.

“They can help straddle the divide,” she said. “They can teach traditional communication skills to some of those younger employees and digital body language to older team members.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Here’s how student debt could be redefined by the nation’s first debtors’ union. Democracy might just get rescued in the process.

Student loan debt
  • Astra Taylor, founder of the Debt Collective, told Insider student debt is threatening democracy.
  • She said that after the Civil War, debt was used to wield power over marginalized communities.
  • Biden is “playing with fire” not following through on his promise to cancel student debt, she said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Debt is all-American, Astra Taylor says. And she doesn’t mean that in a good way.

Taylor, who founded the Debt Collective, which calls for the cancellation of all forms of debt, namechecks Thomas Jefferson as a founding father of how we understand debt today.

In the early 1880s, he wrote in a letter that debt should be used as a tool to control Indigenous people “because we observe that when these debts get beyond what the individuals can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession of lands.” This idea has “carried over through the 20th century,” Taylor said, and she’s made it her mission to end in the 21st. Our relationship with debt can be all-American in a different – and better – way, she said in an interview with Insider.

Her organization is the country’s first membership-based union for debtors and allies, and she said it’s a necessary step for true democracy to finally emerge in the US. She’s offering her help to President Joe Biden, even drafting an executive order she wants President Joe Biden to sign to cancel student debt for all borrowers.

Even if he can cancel all student debt by simply signing a piece of paper, Taylor said it wouldn’t be enough – all debt in the country has to be erased so borrowers are no longer controlled by money they will never be able to pay off.

Astra Taylor.
Founder of the Debt Collective, Astra Taylor.

“I think it’s really important to understand that relationships of credit and debt are always political,” Taylor said. “It’s a power relationship masquerading as a relationship of equality,” adding that it’s time for Americans to move beyond that dynamic.

Many Americans who hold student debt fear they will never be able to pay it off before dying, as Insider previously reported, and given that multiple left-leaning studies have shown that debt cancellation would stimulate the economy by freeing up money for borrowers to spend elsewhere, Taylor said there’s no reason why Biden should not act on the opportunity.

The roots of debt and democracy

As Taylor explained in an opinion piece for The New York Times last week, the Reconstruction era that followed the Civil War had another name among formerly enslaved people: the Jubilee. But although slavery was abolished, debt quickly took its place in the form of “sharecropping,” which served as a tool to control marginalized communities and allow white landlords “generations of exploitable labor.”

This kind of coercion through debt mutated but never went away, Taylor said, citing predatory lending and redlining, or the practice of housing discrimination based on race which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found evidence of this year. Lawmakers like Sen. Elizabeth Warren argue that student-loan servicers are currently taking advantage of borrowers in a similar way.

Taylor said the economic recovery Biden touts does not reflect the disproportionate debt burden on minority communities. For example, upon graduation, Black student debt borrowers typically owe 50% more than white borrowers. Four years later, Black borrowers owe 100% more, according to 36 civil rights organizations.

The Debt Collective’s work to ensure debtor’s remain politically independent will help eliminate the disproportionate burden of debt, and, as Taylor put it, “revive the Jubilee.” Taylor’s ideas are intersecting more and more with the mainstream. For example, this week Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast interviewed “independent renegade economist” Steve Keen, who called for a “modern Jubilee.”

Biden is ‘playing with fire’ on debt cancellation

During his campaign, Biden promised to immediately cancel $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers, but he has not yet fulfilled that promise and has not commented on if, or when, he will follow through. Taylor told Insider that there are “tremendous risks” accompanied with not delivering on debt cancellation.

“They’re playing with fire,” Taylor said. “To break this promise they fully have the ability legally to do is just so dangerous.”

Taylor argues that instead of investing in debt collection, Biden should invest in free education. Plus, she says, eliminating debt would allow people to invest in other things, like housing.

The Education Department has so far cancelled some debt for certain groups of people, but Americans continue to hold $1.7 billion in student debt.

Biden promised he would cancel student debt, Taylor said. “Why would you risk all of the disappointment and bad faith that will result from not meeting the moment?”

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best debt consolidation loans right now

Best loans for debt consolidation 2x1

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

The best debt consolidation loans of 2021

Lender APR Amount available Learn more

wells fargo logo

5.74% to 24.24% $3,000 to $100,000 for unsecured loans, $3,000 to $250,000 for secured loans Personal Loan

Lighstream Logo

5.93% to 19.99% $5,000 to $100,000 (for excellent credit) Lightstream Debt Consolidation Loan

SoFi Logo

5.99% to 16.19% APR (with AutoPay) $5,000 to $100,000 SoFi personal loan
Payoff by Happy Money Logo
5.99% to 24.99%

$5,000 to $40,000

Payoff loan

Avant Logo

From 9.95% – 35.99% APR

$2,000 to $35,000 for unsecured loans; $5,000 to $25,000 for secured loans

Avant Personal Loans

Generally, you’ll need a personal loan for debt consolidation, which means replacing multiple loans with a single loan instead.

Most personal loan lenders ask about loan purpose when starting the loan application process, and often, personal loans for debt consolidation have higher interest rates than other personal loans and other loan types.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

PFI Best Wells Fargo Logo Banner

Wells Fargo

Flexibility makes Personal Loan a top contender for best personal loans for debt consolidation. Wells Fargo separates debt consolidation loans from personal loans, but the interest rates are the same.

Benefits include incredibly competitive interest rates, ranging from 5.74% to 24.24% APR, and an autopay discount of 0.25% if payments are made from a Wells Fargo account. For unsecured personal loans, the most common type for debt consolidation, the amount available ranges from $3,000 to $100,000 and there are no origination or prepayment fees.

Wells Fargo gives several options for personal loans that aren’t common elsewhere. Firstly, there’s an option to secure your loan with a CD or savings account, though that option is only available to current customers. Secured loans allow you to borrow up to $250,000, though an origination fee of $75 applies to secured loans (unsecured loans don’t have a fee).

Wells Fargo can send your loan funds to your Wells Fargo bank account, or to a credit account outside of Wells Fargo to pay down your debts directly.

Watch out for: Secured loan options. Secured loans use collateral to bring down interest rates and increase the amount available to borrow. But using these savings accounts as collateral could mean losing your savings or CD if you don’t pay on your loan.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning Wells Fargo’s history with data security and compliance. The bank has faced several federal penalties for improper customer referrals to lending and insurance products, and security issues tied to creating fake accounts several years ago.

Read Insider’s full review of Wells Fargo here.

Personal Loan

PFI Best lightstream Logo Banner

Lightstream

Lightstream Debt Consolidation Loan is a highly regarded lender for many loan types, and has been a top pick across Insider’s coverage of the best personal loans and best auto loans. However, this lender only works with borrowers with good or better credit, with a minimum credit score requirement of 660.

LightStream offers consistently competitive interest rates, though its minimum interest rate for debt consolidation is higher than its typical personal loan’s interest rates. However, this lender does not have any prepayment or origination fees. Same-day funding is available with LightStream.

Watch out for: Varying loan terms between LightStream’s typical personal loans and debt consolidation loans. Only borrowers with excellent credit can borrow the $100,000 maximum, and anyone without excellent credit may not qualify for the full amount.

LightStream defines excellent credit history as an account with five or more years of credit history, stable and sufficient income for debts, and a variety of credit history with little or no credit card debt. If you’re looking for a debt consolidation loan, chances are you have a significant amount of debt, and may not fit these qualifications.

Additionally, LightStream doesn’t have a way to pre-qualify online. You’ll have to apply for the loan to find out exactly what your rates and terms could look like, which could make comparison shopping difficult.

Read Insider’s full review of Lightstream here.

Lightstream Debt Consolidation Loan

PFI Best SoFi Logo Banner

SoFi

A SoFi Personal Loan is the best option for anyone with a high balance, as this lender makes debt consolidation loans of up to $100,000. Debt consolidation loans from this lender are comparable in rates to those offered by LightStream, but SoFi offers higher loan limits to all applicants, whereas LightStream only allows some borrowers to borrow up to $100,000. Similarly, SoFi doesn’t have any application, origination, or prepayment fees.

SoFi offers unique features like unemployment protection, which could put loans in forbearance for up to three months if you find yourself out of work.

Watch out for: Stringent requirements. SoFi personal loans have a minimum credit score of 680. According to NerdWallet, the average income among borrowers is over $100,000.

Read Insider’s full review of SoFi here.

SoFi personal loan

PFI Best Payoff Logo Banner

Payoff

In the fair credit range, it can be tough to qualify for a personal loan with reasonable interest rates – many lenders have a minimum of 660 or 680. However, a Payoff loan could be a good option for people with credit scores as low as 640. Interest rates are comparable to those offered by LightStream and SoFi, but this lender has less stringent requirements.

Compared with competitors Prosper and Best Egg, which both have the same 640 minimum credit score requirement, Payoff’s interest rates are capped lower, and could have lower origination fees.

Watch out for: Origination fees. Payoff offers loans with origination fees ranging from 0% to 5%. Competing lenders Prosper and Best Egg charge minimum 2.41% and 0.99% origination fees, respectively. The better deal will depend on your credit score, income, and repayment term.

Payoff loan

PFI Best Avant Logo Banner

Avant

With bad credit, a personal loan for debt consolidation can be expensive, or hard to qualify for. An Avant personal loan is the best bet for borrowers with poor credit, requiring a minimum credit score of 600.

Compared to other personal loan lenders offering debt consolidation loans for bad credit borrowers, Avant’s terms are the most generous. Interest rates range From 9.95% – 35.99% APR. While there is an administration fee, it could be lower than competitors’ fees with a cap at 4.75%. Avant also has the advantage of quick, next-day funding available.

Watch out for: Secured loan options. Like Wells Fargo, Avant offers the option to secure your loan with collateral like your car. While this could be helpful to lower interest rates, it could put your car in jeopardy if you don’t pay. Secured loans have an administration fee of 2.5%, and a maximum amount of $25,000.

Read Insider’s full review of Avant here.

Avant Personal Loans

Other personal loans we considered

  • LendingClub personal loans: This lender has the potential for high origination fees that could add to the cost of borrowing. The average origination fee is 5.2%. Read Insider’s full review here.
  • Prosper personal loans: Prosper’s minimum credit score requirement is 640, but borrowers with this score could get lower interest rates and potentially lower fees from Payoff. Read Insider’s full review here.
  • Best Egg personal loans: Like Prosper, borrowers with credit scores of 640 or above could get lower minimum interest rates and lower maximum fees from Payoff. In order to qualify for the lowest possible interest rates, borrowers need a minimum FICO score of 700 and an income of at least $100,000 per year. Only three-year and five-year loan terms are available, making these loans less flexible than other options. Read Insider’s full review here.
  • Discover personal loans: Discover’s personal loan rates start higher than other lenders’ loans, and borrowers who meet the minimum credit score requirements could get lower interest rates from LightStream, which cap lower. However, Discover makes payments directly to creditors, which could simplify your payoff process. Wells Fargo is the only other bank on our listing to offer that option.
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loans: Like Discover, borrowers who qualify for Marcus personal loans could find lower minimum interest rates with LightStream, SoFi, or Wells Fargo.
  • Axos personal loans: This lender’s personal loans require a minimum credit score of 720. For borrowers with this type of credit, lower interest rates can be found elsewhere.
  • OneMain Financial personal loans: OneMain doesn’t have a minimum credit score required to apply, which could make it a viable option for people who don’t meet Avant’s 600 minimum. But interest rates range from a high 18.00% – 35.99%. Read Insider’s full review here.

Which lender is the most trustworthy?

We’ve compared each institution’s Better Business Bureau score to give you another piece of information to choose your lender. The BBB measures businesses’ trustworthiness based on factors like their responsiveness to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and transparency about business practices. Here is each company’s score:

Lender BBB Grade

wells fargo logo

NR

Lighstream Logo

A+

SoFi Logo

A+
Payoff by Happy Money Logo
A+

Avant Logo

A

With the exception of Wells Fargo, our top picks are rated A or higher by the BBB. Keep in mind that a high BBB score does not guarantee a positive relationship with a lender, and that you should continue to do research and talk to others who have used the company to get the most complete information possible.

The BBB currently does not have a rating for Wells Fargo as the BBB is investigating its profile. Previously, the organization gave Wells Fargo an F in trustworthiness. In the past few years:

If you’re uncomfortable with this history, you may want to use one of the other personal loan lenders on our list.

Frequently asked questions

Why trust our recommendations?

Personal Finance Insider’s mission is to help smart people make the best decisions with their money. We understand that “best” is often subjective, so in addition to highlighting the clear benefits of a financial product, we outline the limitations, too. We spent hours comparing and contrasting the features and fine print of various products so you don’t have to.

How did we choose the best debt consolidation loans?

To find the best personal loans for debt consolidation, we combed through the fine print and terms of about a dozen personal loans to find the ones that were best suited to help with consolidating debt. We considered four main features:

  • APR range: For the most help with debt payoff, a personal loan for debt consolidation needs to have lower interest rates than the credit card or other debts you’re consolidating. We looked for the loans that had the lowest rates possible for each credit range and purpose. The average credit card interest rate was 16.28% in 2020, so we focused on loans that had the potential to beat this.
  • Appropriate loan amounts: We looked for personal loans that had the most variety in loan amounts. According to loan comparison site Credible, the median amount of debt consolidated in May 2020 was $18,000. To benefit the most borrowers, we included personal loans with maximum limits over $10,000.
  • Minimum credit score requirements: Where available, we considered the minimum credit score requirements for each company. We considered loans for excellent, fair, and poor credit, grouping loans into categories based on these credit score requirements.
  • Fees: We considered fees like origination or administrative fees in our decisions, looking for loans with the fewest or lowest fees. None of the best loans listed have prepayment penalties.
  • Nationwide availability: We only considered loans with availability in most or all 50 US states.

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation takes all sorts of debts, including credit cards, medical debt, or typically any other type of unsecured debt, and rolls it into one loan.

To consolidate debt, you get a loan from one lender for the total amount of debt you’d like to combine. Then, you use those funds to pay off the individual, smaller debts. At the end, you have all of your debt rolled into one monthly payment, one deadline for debt repayment, and a smaller interest rate.

Can I use any personal loan for debt consolidation?

Most personal loans allow a variety of uses, and while most include credit card consolidation or debt consolidation, not all do. Make sure to read the fine print of any personal loan you’re applying for, and make sure that debt consolidation is an acceptable use of your loan. All of the loans we considered had an option to use the loan for debt consolidation, if not a separate loan, which we included details for.

Related Product Module: Related ProductRelated Content Module: More on Loans

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Education Dept. insists you repay all your student loans but isn’t collecting about $1 billion owed by colleges, report finds

college graduates
  • The National Student Legal Defense Network found 1,300 colleges owe $1.2 billion to the Education Dept.
  • Most of it is held for-profit colleges that shut down in past years over allegations of fraud.
  • Meanwhile, the department is preparing to resume student loan collections in October.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Once the payment pause on student loans lifts in October, the Education Department will resume efforts to collect student debt from 43 million borrowers across the country. But according to a new report, collection of debt held by higher education institutions – and owed to taxpayers – doesn’t appear to get similar treatment.

The nonprofit National Student Legal Defense Network released a report last week that found as of February 2021, nearly 1,300 higher education institutions owed approximately $1.2 billion to the Education Department. Most of the debt is held by for-profit schools, with the largest outstanding debt of over $244 billion owed by the defunct Vatterott College.

“While the Department aggressively attempts to collect from borrowers, institutions and their owners and executives walked away from more than a billion dollars owed to taxpayers,” the report said.

The report noted that even thought the department has a “wide array” of methods to require institutions to repay their debt, it has failed to make use of those tools, allowing debt to go uncollected.

Department of Education Press Secretary Kelly Leon told Insider in a statement that the department “is committed to improving our policies and practices to better hold institutions accountable for their actions and to provide borrowers with fair and streamlined access to the benefits to which they are entitled.”

Here are the other main findings from the report, obtained by the group through Freedom of Information Act requests:

  • About 200 of the 1,300 institutions with debt still received Title IV funding from the government;
  • The department has recertified institutions owing debt for participation in student aid programs;
  • And the department’s failure to collect has cost at least $218 million because the statue of limitations on collections had expired.

The report added that the department has not collected relatively small debt amounts. For example, the for-profit University of the Rockies owed $883,613 in 2019 that the department had not collected as of the data collected in the report.

President Joe Biden’s Education Department has begun to act on fraudulent behavior of for-profit schools through cancelling student debt for some defrauded borrowers. Most recently, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona cancelled student debt for 18,000 borrowers defrauded by now-defunct ITT Technical Institutes, totaling to about $500 million in debt relief.

But even as institutions still owe taxpayers billions in debt, the Education Department is preparing to transition borrowers back into repayment in October – something lawmakers have advocates are strongly urging against.

“When we organize together, fight together, and persist together, we win together,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “We’ve all got to raise our voices and call on the Biden administration to extend the pause on student loan payments and #CancelStudentDebt.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

I’m a 30-year-old whose student loan balance increased by more than $20,000 in 6 years, despite making every payment. It’s enough to make you question your sanity.

Ashley Strahm standing in a brick alley
Ashley Strahm says her original student loan balance increased by over $20,000 in six years due to interest rates.

  • Ashley Strahm, 30, is a content strategist, activist, and writer in Durham, North Carolina.
  • She went to college at age 16 and took out $60,000 in student loans by graduation, which ballooned to over $82,000 thanks to interest rates.
  • Even after refinancing her loans she still owes $44,000, and it’s often “the first thing I think about when I wake up,” Strahm says.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

I knew what I was getting into.

I’m a first-generation college grad born to two amazing parents from South America. I prepared to graduate from a private, all-girls, college-preparatory high school at 16, got a partial academic scholarship to a private university, and proceeded to take out $15,000 a year in federal Stafford and parent plus loans to cover the rest. (Fun fact: no one, not even the government, is willing to lend to a college-bound kid who’s not even remotely 18 yet. This meant my parents had to put their credit on the line to help me finance my education. I know that’s not unorthodox, but it would’ve been nice to at least have the option to shoulder the burden myself from the outset.)

Read more: This couple paid off $114,000 of debt then saved up $431,000 with these 4 side hustles. Here’s how much money they made from each gig and their advice to others.

So, let’s recap. It’s 2008, I’m aware America’s economy is going up in flames, but I got a pretty significant scholarship to attend college – which no one in my immediate family has done before. I went in with my eyes wide open, researching interest rates, deciding against private loans, refusing to accept my dad dipping into his 401k to fund my endeavor, and getting an on-campus job to subsidize costs while I was in school. (I obviously wasn’t aware of what we should all know by now – women, and Black women in particular, are disproportionately ensnared in student debt.)

“There’s more you could have done!” say folks who refuse to empathize with us (greedy/lazy/opportunistic/careless?!) millennials. “You chose to play rugby and spend frivolously on cleats, gas, and stitches for your unnecessarily procured gaping wounds! You could’ve sold a kidney, donated plasma, or went to a community college! How dare you even begin to complain about a college experience you knew would cost so much?!”

Stop right there, y’all. I knew. I was ready.

I lay awake at 20 years old in the spring of my senior year with unwavering determination. I was going to get a kick-ass job in journalism/communications/marketing and not even wait the six-month deferment period to allow my loan’s interest to capitalize. I viewed my loan balance as yet another thiccc rugby woman I had to stiff-arm into submission (and I’d had plenty of practice). I wasn’t scared. I’d incurred a significant fee to finance an education I both desired and relished the process of receiving … and I was ready to pay when my bill came due. I understood that each promissory note was another proverbial nail in my coffin.

This is what folks who stridently and stubbornly refuse to empathize with young student loan borrowers will never understand.

Many of us operate as though no one will save us, forgive our debt, and pretend our responsibility has ended. There are millions of us who lose sleep every night for years, plugging formulas into Excel spreadsheets and debt repayment calculators, budgeting for jobs they apply for mere months after enrolling in school. There are countless tears, anxieties, and plans that result in this burden we know we are accountable for.

Before I’d turned 21, I already accepted that the remainder of the decade would be spent in service to the investment I’d made when I was still too young to vote.

So I got down to it. I’m 30 now, and I’ve never missed a student loan payment. The monthly bills have fluctuated between $462 and $2,695 dollars per month, but I have never. missed. a single one.

What began as an original balance of nearly $60,000 when I graduated in 2012 ballooned to over $82,000 in 2018.

Yes, you read that right.

A 21-year-old who never missed a monthly $450+ student loan payment financed by the United States government saw her balance increase by over $20,000 over the course of six years.

You could comment on how I should’ve paid more than the minimum, how I should’ve worked over the course of six years to land a job that paid double so I could make a dent in the principal. That I should’ve gotten my parents or family to help, should’ve gotten a side hustle, should’ve lived in squalor and cut back on my already meager meal plans to pay more, ever more.

And I’m going to call bullshit on that.

I made my debt a massive priority. But when the minimum payment for my federal 8.5% interest rate loan is nearly $500, I will not accept that the issue lies with me. A kid with a degree bringing home $50,000 a year three years out of school should be able to make at least a dent in her debt burden. Instead of seeing my diligence rewarded, I saw my balance increase.

It’s earth-shattering. It’s enough to make you question if you’re insane; if you’ve been reading your billing statements correctly; if the loan officers you call every quarter are lying to you; if you’re the reason your efforts are failing.

But I’m still at it, y’all. I refinanced my loans to a 5.25% interest rate because my credit is over 815 at this point (yes, I’m proud). I married – which, besides being the best decision I ever made for my heart, also helps because (and I’ll just say it) after paying off his student debt, we’re contributing his entire monthly salary to mine. Every. last. cent.

We’re choosing not to have children partially because we’re already paying the equivalent of Montessori tuition for a non-existent five-year-old.

Hear this: People are feeling all kinds of ways about potential federal student loan forgiveness. I forfeited any possibility of that when I refinanced my loans with a private company three years ago, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I pray every night for the millions of folks still paying endlessly to the government to get their loans forgiven. They deserve it. They’re still sprinting up a treacherous mountain with no end in sight, paying astounding amounts of interest while suffocating under the weight of other basic financial responsibilities.

I wanted to be out of that hell so badly that I gave up any hope of a government bailout. If I still had federal loans, I’d still be running in place. I will support anyone who is still trapped in that federal student debt purgatory and sees their loans forgiven, because I know that pain. I feel that strife. When they are free, we’ll all be free. Their salvation couldn’t possibly deny me the sweet reprieve of my efforts for all of these years.

My husband and I are now paying twice the amount of our mortgage to my student loans every month. From the fall of 2018 to now, my balance has decreased from over $82,000 to $44,000. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing we talk about most nights before bed.

Sometimes, people ask me if I ever think about graduate school and it makes me want to vomit. Even as the pursuit of knowledge calls out to me, the shadowy nightmare of its cost keeps me far from ever considering it.

Read the original article on Business Insider

3 steps to start tackling huge student loans before you make a single payment

Master your Money 2021 Event 1
Panelists for Master Your Money’s virtual event include, from left to right, Personal Finance Executive Editor Libby Kane, personal finance coach and author Tarra Jackson, and Vice President of Young Investors for Personal Investing, a unit of Fidelity Investments, Kelly Lannan.

  • Personal finance professionals Tarra Jackson and Kelly Lannan joined Insider’s Master your Money Virtual Event.
  • They broke down the best ways to tackle debt repayment, including huge student loans.
  • Before you try to pay them off, make sure you have savings, know what you owe, and contact your lender to get your options.
  • This article is part of a series focused on millennial financial empowerment called Master your Money.

Before you start tackling an enormous debt like a student loan, experts have some advice.

Kelly Lannan, Vice President of Young Investors for Personal Investing at Fidelity, and Tarra Jackson, author of “4 Financial Languages” and “Financial Fornication,” explained during Insider’s virtual event, “How to control your debt, build your credit, and set yourself up to build wealth,” that there are a few steps to take before you start writing checks.

1. Figure out exactly what you owe and can afford to pay

Before you pay off your debt, you need to know exactly what debts you have, Lannan said. For a lot of people, this is easier said than done.

“Sometimes if you’re scared of the numbers and what they’re going to show you, it’s like inertia sets in and you don’t check them,” Lannan said. “But if you have no idea what you even have to begin with, how can you ever take action on it?”

Lannan recommended using apps to get an overview of your finances, but you can also start a basic spreadsheet or even a written list of your debt amounts, interest rates, and lenders to keep everything in one place.

Knowing what you owe and to whom is one side of the coin; knowing how much you can afford to pay is the other.

Jackson explained that before you consider refinancing or consolidating your loans, make sure you have a holistic picture of your spending and you know how much you can afford to pay your lenders each month. If you need to pay more than you can afford, she continued, use this as an opportunity to take a closer look at your spending habits and see where you might want to make a change to free up some cash.

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2. Get all your options from your lender

Jackson, who held the role of interim president and CEO of a credit union, suggested that borrowers struggling under large debts get in touch with their lenders to figure out all of their options for repayment. The lending institution might offer a deferment program, suggest refinancing, allow borrowers to split up the payment or extend the term of the loan to lower payments, or have other options for situations of financial hardship. As Jackson put it, “You can’t give what you don’t have.”

In her role at the head of a credit union, Jackson remembers struggling borrowers offering to give up their home or car in lieu of payments. But the union doesn’t want the collateral, she explained. “Most financial institutions, all they really want is the money,” she said, and they’re willing to work with you to get it.

3. Make sure your emergency fund is on track

One of the first steps in paying off a large debt balance seems counterintuitive: Start saving.

Before you worry about paying off your debt, make sure you’re saving an emergency fund. Lannan said, “The most important thing is that you make sure you have money set aside in case the unexpected happens.” An emergency fund is generally defined as about six months’ worth of living expenses saved somewhere easily accessible, like a savings account. That money is earmarked for an emergency like a job loss or medical emergency – something that might otherwise cause you to take on debt.

“What we don’t want to have happen is people are not prepared for the unexpected, and then they go further into debt, because they either can’t pay off the debt that already existed, or they have to take on more loans to do so,” Lannan said.

It’s important to save this fund somewhere separate from your checking account, to reduce the ease (and temptation) of tapping it when you need a little more cash in checking, added Jackson. She recommends automating your contributions, and then leaving that money entirely alone – no debit card, no regular access to the account. “That’s the best way to build your savings,” she said. “Set it and forget it.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

The European Super League has raised questions about how football clubs are funded and why they end up swimming in debt. Here’s what the experts say.

Super League
Soccer fans protest plans for a European Super League.

  • The ESL was set to be one of the most elite and wealthy breakaway football leagues ever.
  • Despite the league’s collapse, it’s triggered a fan-led review into clubs’ financial situations.
  • Two football finance experts told Insider how clubs earn money and why they get into so much debt.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The new European Super League (ESL) came crashing down recently after nine football clubs pulled out of the plans following huge backlash from fans, politicians, and players.

The 12 teams that were about to join the elite breakaway league would have been handed between 100 million to 350 million euros ($120 million to $420 million), the Financial Times first reported.

The ESL was also planning to receive $4.2 billion in debt financing from JPMorgan over a 23-year period, before the US investment bank said it “misjudged” the deal after the majority of the teams withdrew from the league within 48 hours.

Now, a fan-led review into English football will take place to assess clubs’ finance, ownership, and supporter involvement in the game.

But it begs the question: where does all this money come from in the world of football? Overall, there are three main sources of revenue: broadcasting, commercial, and matchday revenue.

TV broadcasting revenue

TV deals are one of the most important sources of income for football clubs. which can be sold domestically and internationally. Leagues, such as the highly popular English Premier League, own the television distribution rights of all their games.

TV channels bid for the rights to air the matches and the football leagues sells them to the highest bidder. For the Premier League, this happens every third season and is typically Sky Sports, BT Sports, and most recently, Amazon Prime.

Robert Wilson, football finance expert and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, told Insider that broadcast revenue typically makes up around 70% of the income of most Premier League clubs.

Although each club gets an equal share of the deal from the Premier League, they also receive merit payments – if they’re shown on TV more, they get paid more.

Wilson said that last year, Liverpool, who won the Premier League, earned around £150 million ($208 million) from the domestic TV rights deal, while Norwich City, who came last, earned around £110 million ($153 million). Relegation is therefore a costly and daunting prospects for clubs near the bottom of the league.

Read more: What Wall Street bankers really thought about JPMorgan’s $4.2 billion European Super League deal

The rights to show Premier League matches between 2019 and 2022 were sold for nearly £4.5 billion ($6.2 billion) in 2018, with Sky Sports getting hold of the majority of the games. This was a drop from £5.1 billion ($70 billion) in the 2016-2019 seasons.

Reports suggest that when broadcasters bid for 2022-2025 TV rights this summer, they won’t be prepared to spend as much as they did in previous years. Since BT Sports and Sky Sports agreed to a content-sharing deal in 2017, competition dropped between TV channels for the need to bid big, The Guardian reported in January.

“They were trying to produce – in my view – more football and the market was probably saturated,” Wilson said.

Commercial revenue

Another big money pot for football clubs is commercial revenue – in other words, income from sponsorship and merchandising, ranging from shirt sales, license holders, and retail outlets.

Big brands, such as Adidas, pay license fees to football clubs to stick the club’s logo on their shirts. As an example, Wilson said Adidas pays Liverpool a flat fee of £75 million ($10.4 million) to license the production of their replica jerseys.

“It doesn’t matter if they sell one shirt or a hundred million shirts, they still get £75 million,” Wilson said.

He also said the shirt sponsor, which is stuck on the front of the football shirt, is also a source of commercial revenue, as well as shirt-sleeve sponsors. Some of this revenue goes into the other parts of the club, such as the women’s club, he added.

The merchandising aspect of commercial revenue was hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the closure of shops, Dr. Nicolas Scelles, senior lecturer in sports management at Manchester Metropolitan University, told Insider.

“They can still sell online, but of course it affects the commerical revenue,” he said.

Matchday revenue

The final major source of income for clubs is the money they earn on the day of a match. This includes matchday sponsorship, the sponsor on the ball, and most importantly, tickets sales.

The expensive corporate boxes, which business people use to entertain clients in, contributes to the total income, as well as food and drink sales.

It’s important to note that matchday revenue varies depending on the size of the club stadium – a bigger stadium with more fans, such as Arsenal’s Emirates stadium, will generate more revenue on a match day.

Scelles said this type of revenue has been affected the most by COVID-19 considering that stadiums were forced to close for the majority of 2020.

Transfer fees can also be income, Scelles said, as well as club owners’ injecting in their own money, but these two factors aren’t consistent sources of revenue that keep every football club up and running.

So why do clubs end up drowning in debt?

Player transfer fees and players’ salaries are the two main things that football clubs spend their money on, and they’re not cheap, especially when there’s no cap on how much players earn.

The most expensive transfer fee so far was Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior who transferred from Barcelona FC to Paris Saint Germain (PSG) for £200 million ($277 million) in 2017.

Wilson said it’s not uncommon for a number of clubs to spend more than they earn, and many have 140% of expenditure to turnover. The expenditure usually gets underwritten by future revenues, he added.

“Because the TV deals and the sponsorship arrangements are multi-year, they’ve got some guaranteed future revenue. But then they tend to accrue large debts and that’s why we see frequent instances of ownership change,” Wilson said.

Ownership transition can happen when a club ends up in millions of dollars of debt and a new owner takes over from the previous one to inject more money into the club. But this starts the cycle all over again, Wilson said.

The piles of debt stem from the huge competition between the teams. They’re all fighting to win the most trophies, nab the best players and be the best in the league. As a result, they hike up players’ salaries and transfer fees.

This “winner takes all scenario” sets benchmarks for other clubs, Wilson said. For example, Neymar being transferred for £200 million lifted the entire ceiling for how much transfer fees should cost, he said.

Wilson believes football’s financial system isn’t sustainable. “These losses are almost accepted as part and parcel of the financial model,” he said. “There’s loopholes and grey areas,” he said.

The only reason why there’s a review into the finances after the European Super League is because the clubs involved are some of the biggest in the world and the logistics of the league sparked uproar from loyal fans, Wilson said.

From a business perspective, Scelles doesn’t think clubs being in debt is a bad thing as the money is being used to generate more revenue, develop the club, and extend it internationally. But he said there needs to better financial management in place, even though this is hard to regulate in football.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Donald Trump is set to share a $617 million windfall with Vornado Realty Trust, due to a property refinancing deal, reports say

Protestors outside 555 California Street in San Francisco.
Protestors outside 555 California Street in San Francisco in 2017.

  • Vornado and Trump will get $617 million as part of a $1.2 billion bond sale, Bloomberg reported.
  • The payout is part of a refinancing deal for 555 California Street in San Francisco.
  • Trump is a 30% partner in 555 California and 1290 Avenue of the Americas in New York.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump may receive a multimillion payout from his minority ownership stake in a San Francisco property with Vornado Realty Trust, which on Friday sold $1.2 billion in bonds, according to Bloomberg.

The deal included a $617 million return for the partners, Bloomberg had previously reported. It was unclear how much would go directly to Trump.

The Trump Organization has about 30% ownership in office towers on both coasts through a partnership with Vornado. Together, they own 555 California Street in San Francisco and 1290 Avenue of the Americas in New York City.

As much as $800 million of Trump’s net worth is tied up in the buildings. Unlike other buildings owned outright by The Trump Organization, the ex-president doesn’t have control over the properties he owns with Vornado.

The money raised on Friday from bonds sales would be used to refinance loans and fund construction on their three-building 555 California property, according to Bloomberg.

Vornado is in the middle of a $66 million redevelopment project for both 555 California and 345 Montgomery Street, another of the buildings in the complex, according to a February filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Built in 1969, the 52-story 555 California building was formerly known as the Bank of America Tower.

Before his presidency, Trump sought to cash out his stake in the Vornado properties, Insider reported. As banks and businesses cut ties with Trump during or after his presidency, Vornado reportedly considered buying out Trump’s stake, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year.

The firm is New York City’s largest commercial real estate owner and manager.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Hedge funds have dumped over $100 billion in Treasurys this year, accelerating the bond market’s vicious sell-off

us cash
In this photo illustration one hundred US dollar banknotes are seen on display.

  • Hedge funds have sold over $100 billion in Treasurys since January, becoming big contributors to the bond-market slide, Bloomberg reported.
  • Investors in the Cayman Islands have been the biggest net sellers of US sovereign debt.
  • The sell-off by hedge funds began before the latest round of US government fiscal stimulus.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hedge funds have played an instrumental role in this year’s rout in the US bond market by selling off more than $100 billion in Treasurys, according to a Bloomberg report.

Investors in the Cayman Islands, a major financial center and a known domicile for leveraged accounts, have been the biggest net sellers of US government debt, offloading $62 billion of sovereign bonds in February and dumping $49 billion in January, with Bloomberg citing data from the Treasury Department.

The sell-off began after the early January Senate run-off elections that were won by two Democrats. The victories gave that party a 51-vote majority in the upper house of Congress, including Vice President Kamala Harris, paving the way for a large new round of government fiscal spending. In March, President Joe Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that passed 51-50 in the Senate.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines also contributed to investors deciding to exit bonds. As bonds sold off, rising yields prompted a return of convexity-type hedging flows, Bloomberg reported.

The bond market sell-off this year drove the widely watched 10-year Treasury yield above 1.7% for the first time since early 2020. The yield has since pulled back to around 1.58%.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Americans with more education are optimistic about the economy. The rest aren’t.

nevada las vegas coronavirus unemployment
Entertainment and events have come to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, highly impacting Las Vegas’ work force.

  • A Morning Consult analysis looked at consumer confidence throughout the pandemic.
  • It has a K shape like the wider recovery, with more educated Americans more confident about work.
  • The new stimulus could change this K shape, but may not solve things like delayed rent payments.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As the coronavirus pandemic disrupted life throughout 2020, economists debated the shape of the recovery from it. Would it be a V shape, a U shape, or even an L shape?

The answer that emerged was something different: A K shape, in which the well off recover like they’re in a V, and lower-income Americans never recover at all. President Joe Biden validated the diagnosis back in 2020, on stage during a presidential debate.

It stands to reason, therefore, that consumer confidence would follow the same K shape, but the results are nevertheless striking. A new analysis from Morning Consult, looking at consumer confidence throughout the pandemic, found lower-income Americans’ confidence in the economy dropped and stayed low during a slow rebound. Meanwhile, higher-educated Americans confidence rebounded like a V and continued to grow. In every state, people with bachelor’s degrees earn more than people without bachelor’s degrees.

John Leer, an economist at Morning Consult and the author of the analysis, told Insider that over the summer, people with bachelor’s degrees felt more confident that in their ability to hold onto their jobs and not lose pay.

The story was the opposite for others. At that point, Leer said, there’s a “real realization among lower-income workers that while they may have been able to hold onto their job to date, they’re much more likely to suffer a loss of pay or income sometime in the future.”

That divide only grew more K-shaped as the pandemic continued. A few months later, Leer said, those higher-educated workers’ confidence in their ability to hold onto their jobs translated into a willingness to engage in wage bargaining; they pushed for increases in their pay and benefits.

“The exact opposite” was true for lower-income Americans.

“If they had managed to hold onto a job, they certainly were not in a position to ask for an increase in salary or benefits,” Leer said.

He added: “What you see over the course of the past year is a really strong divergence in the degree to which Americans exhibit confidence in the economy, in their own personal finances, based on their level of education.”

K shape persists throughout rounds of stimulus

While the size of the first stimulus was “appropriate,” some snags with the rollout impacted confidence. Leer said lower-income Americans were less likely to have bank accounts or to have filed taxes in 2019 – meaning it took longer for the IRS to distribute money to them.

There was a similar phenomenon with states’ unemployment programs and getting money to unemployed workers, Leer said; Insider’s Allana Akhtar and Nick Lichtenberg reported that 35 different states ran into difficulties getting unemployment insurance to their jobless residents.

“As a result, we actually see confidence among those people with higher incomes rebounding a lot faster, because they were both more likely to receive the money they were due sooner, and, in addition, they were more likely to be employed in sectors that rebounded faster,” Leer said.

Notably, checks went out faster with the second stimulus, and confidence and spending grew – although higher-income Americans already had elevated levels of confidence.

“I view the recovery plan essentially as a lifeline for folks who are really struggling right now to make ends meet,” Leer said.

Prior research from Morning Consult found that the $1,400 stimulus checks in the $1.9 trillion stimulus package could help 22.6 million Americans pay their bills through July.

But when it comes to the K-shaped recovery, we’ll probably get a sense of how that’s playing out in September or October, according to Leer; it’ll mostly depend on what job recovery looks like.

“The gap in the so-called K-shaped recovery will depend on getting lower income and less well-educated workers back to work,” Leer said.

There’s also broader issues around what Leer calls “deferred liabilities” – the rent and mortgage payments that millions of Americans haven’t been able to pay over the past year. While the American Rescue Plan does offer billions in housing assistance, some progressives are saying it’s not enough to close the gap. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota just introduced the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act; she said that, currently, 12 million Americans owe $6,000 in back-rent on average.

To address this, Leer says “we have to be very honest with ourselves.” He said he would take an approach similar to a financial institution with someone who can’t pay back their debt.

“You’ve got to make some sort of calculated decision as to whether or not it’s reasonable to ask somebody to pay back what they owe,” Leer said. There could be families, he said, who haven’t been able to pay their rent for 12 months – and may not be able to for the whole pandemic.

“That sort of debt overhang is gonna slow down the recovery going forward. And I would hope that we as a country come up with some sort of solution to that.”

Read the original article on Business Insider