Thursday, May 31, 2012

Uptick In Student Loan Delinquencies

The Wall Street Journal featured this NY Fed chart showing an uptick in student loan delinquencies.  There has been much written about millions of homeowners with negative equity "strategically" going delinquent if there were a whiff of an election year bailout.  This strategic delinquency phenomenon hasn't occurred, although economists have written that it is economically rational. 

I'd offer the theory that students might be different.  Students, particularly college students, were said to be a big factor in the last Presidential election, both in terms of organizing, turning out and voting. Students are a pragmatic group, with little ethical baggage and no stakes in preserving a credit rating.  They also have a strong sense of entitlement.  My tuition's too high.  Too much homework. My grades are too low because my professors are lousy.  The dorm food's awful.  It's not my fault!( remember John Belushi's lament in the "Blues Brothers"?)

If the President were to give college students a pour boire from the Federal trough before the election in some form of loan forgiveness it would probably depend on balances and being in delinquency.  Why not get your name on the list now?  Behavioral economists--what do you think?

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