Chart Of The Day: $17 Trillion In Student Debt By 2030

Tyler Durden's picture

Student Loan Debt is a cancer for our society. This misconception that getting a college education equals a steady career has been dashed by the recession. For-profit colleges pray on undereducated and low-income individuals. Text book prices have risen exponentially while the cost of a quality education has as well.



This industry of education is going backwards, and will one day burst – will that happen soon?

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KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Jan 29, 2016 8:59 PM

Beer Pong is expensive!

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) ThroxxOfVron Jan 29, 2016 9:02 PM

IT happens... (I misspelled 'IT' too)

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Funny how college "academia" rails against the "1%" and advocate higher taxes on the "rich" They hate that costs of housing and healthcare are going parabolic. But THEY are the ones who are raising prices like Wallstreet Bankers!!! They ARE who they hate!!!

philipat's picture

It is quite obvious that the taxpayer is going to pick up the tab eventually. That being the case, it would be more efficient to provide student grants with a FIXED ANNUAL MAXIMUM (perhaps 10K) to students who have the necessary grades and who wish to study a subject which is likely to contribute to the future good of the nation (Engineering yes, gender studies no), increasing in line with OFFICIAL inflation. Additional costs would have to be covered by part-time employment This would prick the College tuition bubble which is being inflated by open-ended student loans.

Croesus's picture

Sadly, I think you're probably right...and I have a lot of issues with that.  

It's bullshit that people like me (productive, saver), get the short end of the stick because some fucking moron politician, or moron academic thinks it should be my "civic duty" to foot the bill for other peoples' "mistakes". 

These "poor suffering students" in some cases, were definitely sold a bill of goods as far as the professional benefits they'd get once they graduated. I feel bad for them, but it's not my fucking problem - Next time you sign something, read the fine print. 

If they wanted to go to school for "gender studies", or to study the "mating habits of the Australian Emu" they shouldn't have bothered going to school, since they're clearly too stupid to think ahead. 



FreedomGuy's picture

I was just in a popular ski resort working a convention. Every single waiter and waitress had a degee. 100%.

My tips will not amortize their student loans very well.

EarthShine's picture

Their loans will probably never be payed back, but instead thrown on the ever-increasing heap. The more this shit goes on the less this debt, or money itself, has any credibility.

Took Red Pill's picture

Yes, it's just another way for the banksters to profit from your labor. Car loans, home loans, college loans. I feel bad for young people trying to make a life today. It's a debt trap at every turn. 

Dsyno's picture

"For-profit colleges pray on undereducated"

*It's spelled "prey", ironically.

The Navigator's picture

There will be no 2030, so why worry about it.

philipat's picture


I completely agree but, as you recognised, my proposal was simply pragmatic logic to control a bad situation. In fact, the situation is worse than you describe because "Student Loans" have become one of the few remaining sources of easily available cash. There is, of course, no data but anecdotally, there are strong suggestions that a lot of these "Students" are not in fact students and just borrrow the money and spend it. Even more reason to resent the ineviyable write-off and taxpayer cover of these loans. America is truly fucked wherever you look.

Croesus's picture

@ philipat: 

Right you are!

It didn't even dawn on me until I read your post, but 2 of my friends did that...the one used some grant money to go buy a car, and the other used his to buy guns and ammo. They're probably not alone, either. 

They both went to school, 1 graduated, 1 didn't, but neither of them currently work in the fields they went to school for.



tarsubil's picture

How about you incentivize the educators? No tuition but the students agree to pay 5% of their annual income or small business profits the first 10 years after graduation. Schools would actually have incentive to do something worth something. But what about women's studies? Oh, that is the critical flaw in this scheme.

Isn't it funny how alien this sounds? The selling point for colleges is to get a good job. Yet, the idea of colleges gearing towards teaching profitable skills is almost bizarre.

Canoe Driver's picture

As I have said before, it's perfectly clear that the student loan proceeds are being used to prop up many local economies, and so, to some extent, the national economy. It's become a mistake that cannot be undone without triggering a greater depression. Too much commentary concentrates on the education system itself, which is actually quite beside the point. Money is being given to students so they will spend it, not only on tuition, which is merely re-spent immediately on salaries and other "economic stimulus," but also on cars, clothes, meals, medical services, nights out, beer, etc. Some towns, San Diego being a notable example, would crater instantly without student loan funds.

Canoe Driver's picture

As I have said before, it's perfectly clear that the student loan proceeds are being used to prop up many local economies, and so, to some extent, the national economy. It's become a mistake that cannot be undone without triggering a greater depression. Too much commentary concentrates on the education system itself, which is actually quite beside the point. Money is being given to students so they will spend it, not only on tuition, which is merely re-spent immediately on salaries and other "economic stimulus," but also on cars, clothes, meals, medical services, nights out, beer, etc. Some towns, San Diego being a notable example, would crater instantly without student loan funds.

Kickaha's picture

As I have said several times previously, the solution to this problem is incredibly simple and so easy to implement that even a caveman could do it.

Every school, from Harvard down to Acme Truck Driving Academy and Shaquanda's School de Beaute' signs on as guarantor of any student loan issued to their customers.  Why not?  Most of the money never passes through the hands to the student, but, instead, is sent directly to the school -i.e. the school is, in fact, the recipient of the loan.

If annointed as Emporer, I'd do it in a flash, just to see the expressions on the faces of academia all over the country.


sun tzu's picture

No funding for gender studies? You obviously hate women and are a rapist.


No funding ethnic studies? You are clearly a racist Nazi KKK skinhead redneck.

philipat's picture

Yup true. But screw Political Correctness, it's destroying the country.

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) Beam Me Up Scotty Jan 29, 2016 9:06 PM

Youth is a cancer to our society.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Father Thyme Jan 30, 2016 11:01 AM

It's true that youth is wasted on the young.  Like Rod Stewart's song says: "I wish that I knew what I know now When I was younger."

Dr. Engali's picture

Must have been hitting the pong. :->

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Dr. Engali Jan 29, 2016 9:27 PM

My 'smart phone' is an ATARI console.

aint no fortunate son's picture

$17 Trillion? Chump change... by then it won't matter anyway... at the rate we're going the cockaroaches will be the only ones left to hold that paper

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture


 pray on undereducated and low-income individuals

Now that's an awesome spelling mistake, right there -- funny in a self-referential way.

junction's picture

All right, students, here is a class exercise involving a Doomsday scenario.

Fact: In the past two years, the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has spiked, with over 2,200 small earthquakes (under magnitude 5) occurring in the past year.

Question: On a cost benefit analysis basis, are the benefits from oil fracking in Oklahoma worth the minute risk of global catastrophe from a fracking earthquake leading to a mantle plume erupting at Yellowstone National Park?   

This “what if” question is a question that no one seems to be asking publicly these days.  A related question is what if the initial earthquakes cause by fracking can trigger even larger earthquakes?  Right after the Boxing Day earthquake of 2004, an Australian seismologist said the “Big One” was set off by a smaller, but still large, 8.1 earthquake off the coast of Tasmania a week before the main event.

In isolation, these earthquakes that seem linked to oil fracking activity in Oklahoma are a problem for the citizens of the state who get shook up as the temblors shake the ground.  But Oklahoma is not an island republic.  About 900 miles northwest of Oklahoma lies the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, a park that sits above a dormant supervolcano.  The magma chambers in this supervolcano are filled with enough magma to fill 11 Grand Canyons.  The magma in these chambers came up by way of a mantle plume from the earth’s core.

On the other side of the planet lies the Deccan Traps in India. A mantle plume here some 65 million years ago sent enough lava to the surface to cover an area the size of California with a mile thick layer of basaltic lava.  UC California Berkeley geophysicist Michael Manga, part of a research team pointing to a possible link between the Deccan eruption and the Yucatan meteor impact that wiped out dinosaurs, said that “if you had a system that already had magma and you gave it a little extra kick, it could produce a big eruption.”  Manga was talking about the magma released in India after the meteor impact at Chicxulub, Mexico shook up the Earth, in part by causing sympathetic earthquakes.

You have the weekend to prepare your answer, due at the next class on Tuesday.


Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Uh, so I shouldn't pay my student loans? I need to go to a safe zone and think about this a bit. 

Yen Cross's picture

 I think you need a good Headshrinker.

grunk's picture


Barky will get me a job.

commie's picture
commie (not verified) junction Jan 30, 2016 6:26 AM

President Cruz's first act will be to approve fracking in Yellowstone Park.

Milestones's picture

The senerio was my first thoughts when this "fraking" shit was started years ago--and I think we will have a future reminder of our undisiplined bull in a china shop actions. Short term $$ for long term paybacks once again raises it ugly head.            Milestones

lester1's picture

The student loan bubble will pop way before 2030.


It will probably pop on President Trump.

ThroxxOfVron's picture

'Pop on Don' sounds like some kind of fizzy alcoholic drink.

Try saying it with a bit of a french accent: 'PoponDon'.

I'm thinking of something like a nice Proseco with a mild cantaloupe color and a sharp bite.

lester1's picture

Who better to manage America's bankruptcy?


Wipe the slate clean for future generations.

CHoward's picture

How will it burst - what will that do?!?  Makes no sense to me. 

lester1's picture

Economy gets so bad, students can't get jobs so they stop paying their college loans.

bunnyswanson's picture

College students will not be able to get hired with bad credit - now a flaw in many jobs, especially if working in a ~bank~.

This young lady went to China.  Nothing that has been done is by accident, that is fairly clear to me, despite what they say.  Destroying america and her citizens financially was a goal mentioned in 1958 speech as part of a ploy by Zionists.

Dig a hole to China.

Our main costs were:

  • Food/household products: $100 to 150/month
  • Landline: $5/month
  • Cell phones: $15/month (each)
  • Internet: $10/month


Kina's picture

better and cheaper colleges in south america and still guaranteed pass

cheech_wizard's picture

I was speaking with a woman at work who is going to take her LSAT soon, so I naturally asked her about the cost of books... $300 for a 3 ring notebook filled with the "book" (read that as 3 hole punched copied pages) she was using for the course. In the course of our conversation, she told me you can now rent "books" for a semester, for about 35% of what it would cost if you bought the book itelf...

Standard Disclaimer: Good to see the rent-a-center mentality has taken root in our esteemed ivory towers of "higher learning"...


willwork4food's picture

I took a college course a few years ago for the fun of it. The used book cost me $200. We got halfway through before the end of the course. Later I wanted to take the next course and they wanted me to buy a totally different book. Fuck that. Never applied since.

Singelguy's picture

Student loan debt will never reach that level. Every day people are waking up to the fact that their expensive college degree is no guarantee to a better future and are choosing other options. Furthermore, if the past due amounts are currently at 14% with the debt level at $1.2 trillion, what would it be if the debt reached $30 trillion, especially when median incomes are stagnant or declining? This will blow up long before it even reaches $2 trillion.

kenny500c's picture

If your choice is between a low wage job bussing dishes or going to college on a play now, pay later deal you will go to any college anywhere just to leave this world for awhile. The future be damned.

bunnyswanson's picture

The debt placed on these young people, according to China, is a human rights' issue.  According to me, it is as well.  There was a time when responsible lending practices took place, hence, those of us who went to school in the 70s and 80s were not burdered with so much debt, we considered FLEEING our country of origin.

Shame on the politicians who are raking in the bucks through get-rich-quick schemes thanks to the democracy they claim to uphold.  SHAME ON YOU ALL.

"I find myself in this exact position years after I have graduated. The amount I owe is ridiculous. At present I'm considering leaving the country and starting life anew somewhere else. I don't want to leave, I love this country, I love the people, my friends, my family. Unfortunately I just can't live the life that I want to live when I'm paying close to $20k yearly in student loans and making around 60k/year after taxes. I don't have a significant other to help me and honestly I don't think I want to bring anyone else into this miserable financial state I find myself stuck in. I guess I thought putting my head down and plugging through med school would at least get me a decent living wage, enough to buy a home, maybe go on a vacation once a year? I  just feel like I screwed myself by trying to follow the American dream and now that dream is gone and someone else is profiting from my hard work." YumYumGum

Dr. Engali's picture

Awesome! Up and to the right is good no?

moonmac's picture

Most American kids are nothing more than future Debt Slave Sheeple awaiting their miserable lives of peonage to Federal Reserve Members and their corrupt Wall Street cronies!

MEFOBILLS's picture

Yet another ZH article that gives no context.

Yes, the students and others bought the BS that higher education is a gurarantee to a middle class life. They also bought the canard that all people are equal, and all you need is a degree to make everything equal.

The banksters maneuvered it to have low to no risk on the student loans.  They get paid if the student defaults, or if the student make their payments.  Heads I win tails you lose.

LIberal college professors, who have no idea of how things work, then demand more fees from the students, and hence the debt hooked onto students pulls the future in to today.  Let's all party, and pay for it later with debt peonage!  

In other words, the crazed hippies of the 60's, now college professors and admin, ran up prices and spending, thus shackling future generations.  They also bought into and spread hypnosis about some sort of direct connection between degrees and income.

Meanwhile, financial fraudsters convince government that students need guaranteed loans... because debts are always good.

If pea brained intellectuals really understood things, then they would know that young generations need their labor value increased with a solid education, and they also need a low access price to housing and income.  Low access prices mean low to no debts upon graduation.

That means a proper money supply, and proper types of taxation and spend.

But nah,  the human animal is too stuuuuupid to understand these sort of simple concepts. 

LawyerScum's picture

Nice analysis. I always wondered why all the animosity is towards the students when the loan providers and congress are directly responsible for the fiasco. I went to Baylor Law School. It was $300 an hour when I attended in the mid-90s. Now its $1200 an hour. Most of these poor bastards will never get a legal job even remotely capable of paying back that debt and yet are getting giant loans anyways. When the kids eventually default the banks get paid off regardless. Nice scam.

Elliptico's picture

No bailout for youse.