Record Student Loan Debt Crushes American Enterpreneurial Spirit

Tyler Durden's picture

Freshly-minuted MBAs "are willing to sleep on a couch for a year or two, but they can't do it with the burden of student loans," is how on senior lecturer describes the entrepreneurial-spirit-sucking debt loads that college-leavers face in the new normal. Faced with mounting monthly payments, the WSJ reports that would-be-Bezos have little choice but to look for the steady paychecks that accompany a regular job. Recent surveys find that "the single largest inhibitor to entrepreneurship is the student loan" burden and it seems states are beginning to realize this growth-inhibiting reality. In order to tamp down ambition-busters such as "I would be a serial entrepreneur if it weren't for my student loans," California (and Rhode Island) are enacting legislation to reduce college costs and looking at the feasibility of temporary forbearance. While some see their student-loans as a motivator, it seems many more are forced down a different path due to the "real responsibilities."

 

 

Via WSJ,

The rising mountain of student debt, recently closing in on $1.2 trillion, is forcing some entrepreneurs to abandon startup dreams and others, including Christine Carney of Orono, Maine, to radically reshape their business plans.

 

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Having the student-loan debt "is preventing me from being able to take a lot of chances or risks that are usually necessary when starting a business,"

 

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The average student who borrows has piled up about $40,000 in debt by graduation, including parents' loans, nearly double the levels of a decade ago

 

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"I mentor students all the time," says Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford University Law School. "The single largest inhibitor to entrepreneurship is the student loans."

 

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Many freshly-minted M.B.A.s "are willing to sleep on a couch for a year or two, but they can't do it with the burden of student loans,"

 

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Faced with $400-a-month payments on nearly $40,000 in student-loan debt, he says he had little choice but to look for the steady paychecks that accompany a regular job.

 

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If he didn't face student-loan payments, he says, he would have worked at his nascent business venture for at least another six months. "I love the startup world. I would be a serial entrepreneur if it weren't for my student loans,"

 

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At least one state has taken steps to alleviate the pressures. California this year enacted legislation that will reduce college costs for middle-class Californians who attend its public universities... Similarly, the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, a quasi-governmental nonprofit group, is looking at whether it is feasible to temporarily forbear or reduce payments for recent graduates who start a businesses or go to work for a new venture.

 

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Some entrepreneurs view their student-loan payments as a motivator. "We are under the clock to get our product out there and make sales,"

 

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Student-loan payments are "pushing me forward," he says. "I'm making sure that I make every single day count."