Goodbye Student Loan Debt

For several years my wife and I belonged to a group 10.6 million strong: Americans in their 30s with student loan debt.  Earlier this month, we waved goodbye to our membership when we paid off our final student loan.  While we both earned undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, we never amassed overwhelming debt because we were intentional about borrowing the least amount possible to continue on toward our ultimate educational goals. So What? As someone who works in higher education, Read More …

Tithers

The fifth annual State of the Plate survey revealed interesting data about tithers.  Among the over 4,000 tithers participanting in the survey: 73% of those who "tithe" give over 10%, including 9% who give over 20%; 70% "tithe" based on their gross income rather than net income; and 63% started tithing before turning 30. Interestingly tithers have lower debt levels and are financially better off than non-tithers: 80%  have no unpaid credit card bills, 74% have no car Read More …

Educational Debt – BS

When I initially encountered Greg Henson and David Pohlmeier's  new infographic on what incoming seminary students bring with them, I found myself gravitating toward the financial data.  The data used to generate the graphic comes from surveys completed by 6,900 incoming students at 161 ATS schools during the 2011-2012 school year.  Among the findings: 51% of all incoming students enter seminary with educational debt (the image at right shows the debt load of those who enter seminary with Read More …

Student Loans in Younger Households

The Pew Research Center recently featured an article highlighting the overall trends over time in the percentage of households with outstanding student debt.  By reporting on the percentages by the age of the head of household over time, the graph provides a picture that illustrates how the experience of possessing student debt has become increasingly normative in younger households.  More specifically, from 1989-2010 the percentage of households in the youngest two age cohorts (younger than 35 Read More …

Growing Student Loan Debt

Student loans have been a hot topic in recent weeks as the deadline approached (included in a 2007 law) for the current interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans to double (rising from 3.4% to 6.8%).  When Congress passed legislation that continued the very low rate, the topic of student loans was no longer front page news. With this recent issue fresh on the minds of many, a new study provides troubling details of how quickly the amount students are borrowing is increasing.  Writing for Read More …

Consumerism and the Church

Carl Trueman, professor of historical theology and church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, recently explored the impact of consumerism on our society and the church.  In society, Trueman finds that consumerism leads to  the infantilisation of society; huge levels of personal debt; and notions of truth and ethics that are as malleable as the market place. The larger culture of consumerism is now impacting the church in a number of ways.  According to Trueman this Read More …