The crushing debt has a single silver lining. Hopefully, it'll be worth all the dark clouds.

You don’t need scientific research to tell you the obvious. The sky is blue. Pain hurts. Student loans are a mess. Are millennials really eager to learn about paying off their debts?

If you didn’t already know it, many others do: There’s more student loan debt in this country ($1.2 trillion) than credit card debt ($854.2 billion). So it’s no surprise that a new study graphically explains the ripple effects of this debt. Here’s what the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) learned…

student loan and debt implications

That’s horrible news for not only the debtors but everyone else, too. If many grads delay these big life decisions, other suffer — from landlords to home builders to maternity nurses.

It gets worse.

According to AICPA, among current students with loans…

a majority (79 percent) didn’t know exactly how much they will have taken out in loans in total, upon graduation.  More than one-in-three (36 percent) either had no idea or a vague idea of the total amount of their loans upon graduation.  More than two-in-five (43 percent) had a general idea of the amount of their loans. Only one-in-five (22 percent) knew the exact amount of their loans in total, upon graduation.

Is this ignorance a result of laziness? I’m going to take the optimistic view and assume it’s simply that these students are focused on their studies. I have this single paragraph to bolster my spirits…

There is a silver-lining to the survey. While college students may feel like their loans will impact their life choices post-graduation, they are eager to learn how to develop their financial skills, with 84 percent saying that they are extremely or very interested in learning how to make better financial decisions.

Essentially, AICPA is saying student loans will be to this generation what the Great Depression was to the WWII generation — a traumatic event that instilled frugality in millions of Americans for the rest of their lives.

If they’re serious about “learning how to make better financial decisions,” then they can start with’s student loan section in our Education Center. They can also call 800-810-0989 for a free analysis of their loan payoff options. Loan forgiveness may be an option depending on the profession they plan to enter.

Hopefully, this generation will grow up with savings savvy. They faced the worst debt in the nation at a very young age.

Howard Dvorkin is a CPA and chairman of, an educational resource for those who want to conquer all forms of debt in their lives.

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About the Author

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

I’m a certified public accountant who has authored two books on getting out of debt, Credit Hell and Power Up, and I am one of the personal finance experts for I have focused my professional endeavors in the consumer finance, technology, media and real estate industries creating not only, but also Financial Apps and Start Fresh Today, among others. My personal finance advice has been included in countless articles, and has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes and Entrepreneur as well as virtually every national and local newspaper in the country. Everyone should have a reason for living that’s bigger than themselves, and besides my family, mine is this: Teaching Americans how to live happily within their means. To me, money is not the root of all evil. Poor money management is. Money cannot buy happiness, but going into debt always buys misery. That’s why I launched I’m glad you’re here.

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