If you can remember the last election and all of the hype that came with it, then you will remember that Obama’s campaign was highly focused on the votes of young adults. In fact, the support he gained from this large group probably had a lot to do with his winning the election. It seems that now, in the wake of this upcoming election, Obama is turning back to his young adult voters and trying to gain their vote once again. In a talk at the University of North Carolina, President Obama told his hopeful young voters that something must be done about the student loan debt that most college students and recent graduates are facing.
The plight of young adults in today’s economy and job market has not gone unnoticed in the least bit. For one, Spark News has made light of it at least once every week for the past few months. It’s difficult for college graduates to get their foot in the door seeing as though jobs are sparse and their experience is less-than satisfactory. As as result, it takes much longer for young adults in their twenties to move out of their parents home, buy a home of their own or start a family. More times than not, when you talk to a young adult today they are either living at home with parents while they work to try and save money, or are barely scraping by living in an apartment in the city with a couple roommates. When will things start to pick up for us? (Note: I am a recent college graduate and I grappling with these same issues!) On top of all of this, young adults must also deal with their student loans.
Add all of this together and you’ll find a struggling group of young adults trying so hard to simply keep their heads above water. Taking note of their dire situation, Obama suggested in his talk to college students and young voters that Congress must act on the student loan debt that is piling up for our country. He states that if college students must spend most of the money they earn on their student loans, then they will be in their parents’ home longer and won’t be able to get a place of their own. This, in turn, negatively effects the housing industry which in turn negatively effects the economy. If young adults were more able to move out and buy their own places, they would be feeding more money into the markets.
“I didn’t just read about this. I didn’t just get some talking points about this. I didn’t get a policy briefing on this,” Obama said, recalling he and his wife shared a “mountain of debt” not a long time ago, reports the Huffington Post. “When we married, we got poor together.” Perhaps Obama was hoping that his personal experience with student loan debt would make him a more favorable choice to his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. It’s well known that Romney is wealthy and grew up with the same privileges he has now. His father was a wealthy executive and it’s safe to say that he has never had to grapple with student loans, so how would he understand?
Obama has suggested that the current interest rates on student loans remain the same, at 3.4 percent. Apparently, Romney agrees. They both urge Congress to take action because on July 1 the interest rates will double back up to 6.8 percent. Back in 2007, the Democratic Congress voted for the interest rates to be cut in half. In July of this year, that plan will expire. If it is not re-instated, it could be devastating to the pockets of young adults.
Are you a recent college graduate with student loans? Do you find it difficult to pay them off each month? With a rise in interest rates, will you be able to keep your finances intact?