Drowning in Debt

Nikolas Tempereau, Opinion Editor


Sea Kings may need to set aside their class textbooks and pick up finance guidebooks, as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported in early March that millennials have accumulated over $1 trillion dollars in debt.

According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress Study, 1 in 5 millennials with debt expect to die without ever paying it off. The average millennial (aged 18 to 34) had about $36,000 in personal debt, excluding home mortgages.

This staggering statistic has caused worry among many Sea King students, such as especially Palos Verdes Pinnacle Business Club President Wolfgang Weiss.

“Students today are really unfamiliar with how to pay off debt and keep track of their finances,” Weiss said. “This causes many college graduates to go into debt without a clue on how to pay it off.”

Weiss’ club is a solution to students lacking financial knowledge and introduces speakers to share their thoughts on basic money practices.

Many college and high school students are kept in a bubble at school. They have no real understanding of how to keep a budget and pay off bills.

Weiss believes this has caused the growing amount of debt with millennials and college students.

Junior Aya Cohen believes that college and the stigma of not attending college is the reason millennial debt is so rampant.

“Debt has definitely gotten worse as time goes on, with college tuition going up but family income staying relatively stagnant,” Cohen said. “It’s difficult when college is also getting progressively more standard and not everyone can afford but is put under the pressure to have to go.”

Student loans combined with a lack of financial knowledge has created a recipe for disaster: insurmountable debt possibly for life.

Senior Ava Pfannerer, who will be attending Loyola Marymount University the following school year, thinks students need to take advantage of the opportunity for financial aid to alleviate worries of debt.

“There is a lot of financial stress because when you graduate you kind of owe a mortgage on a house without owning a house that you have to pay back,” Pfannerer said.

“The good thing is that a lot of schools offer scholarships and financial aid if you apply for them, but it is still hard because a lot of entry level jobs don’t pay nearly enough to pay back loans.”

This potentially unfair stigma harms the future of young people, however with the resources provided at PV High such as the PV Pinnacle Business Club and scholarship opportunities advised from PVHS college counselors, our campus is set up for success.