Tag Archives: Student Loans

New study: outstanding student loans reduce a woman’s odds of marrying

The best majors for women to avoid student loan debt
Top 10 majors with the highest median earnings for women

First, the study, which was published in Demographic Research.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND

With increasing levels of student loan debt, the path to economic stability may be less smooth than it was for earlier generations of college graduates. This paper explores this emerging trend by assessing whether or not student loan debt influences family formation.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study is to examine whether student loan debt delays marriage in young adulthood, whether or not the relationship between student loan debt and marriage differs for women and for men, and if this relationship attenuates during the years immediately after college graduation.

METHODS We estimate a series of discrete-time hazard regression models predicting the odds of first marriage as a function of time-varying student loan debt balance, using a nationally representative sample of bachelor’s degree recipients from the 1993 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (N = 9,410).

RESULTS We find that the dynamics of loan repayment are related to marriage timing for women, but not for men. Specifically, an increase of $1,000 in student loan debt is associated with a reduction in the odds of first marriage by 2 percent a month among female bachelor degree recipients during the first four years after college graduation. This relationship attenuates over time.

CONCLUSION Our study lends support to the proposition that the financial weight of monthly loan repayments impedes family formation in the years immediately following college graduation – however, only for women. This finding questions traditional models of gender specialization in family formation that emphasize the economic resources of men.

I think that a woman who is serious about studying something that will allow her to get a job related to her field so she can quickly pay off her loans in the first few years is a very good sign of RESPECT for a man, and for his role as primary/sole provider. Men choose tough majors / trades for a reason, and they do tough jobs for a reason. When a woman chooses something hard to study and then chooses a hard job to do to pay off her loans, it’s showing to her man that she respects what he is doing to provide for the family. I think this is something that parents need to encourage young women to do, but so often parents focus too much on spiritual / emotional concerns instead of practical wisdom when leading their kids.

When a woman asks a man to work to pay for the marriage – with all the costs of home, furniture, diapers, tuition, etc. – she is asking him for a commitment to work until he is 65. That is a lot to ask, and it is very hard to accept this from a woman who doesn’t understand the difficulty of earning and saving money.

So what do I recommend to a woman? I recommend she do a STEM degree, pay off her debts, guard her chastity, marry young when she is fertile, have a few years of work to pay off student loans and get used to the workplace, demonstrate ability in apologetics and mentoring others, etc. A wife needs to have a lot more skills than just being pretty and young. There are things she has to do in the marriage – things that take preparation. The more accustomed she is to hard work and self-sacrifice, the easier she will take to her role in the marriage. Women who are used to having to do hard things that they don’t feel like doing make the best wives and mothers. It’s something that a woman can grow into, if she lets herself be challenged to grow.

My friend Amy is fond of telling me that people usually adapt to their friends. So if all your friends are very spiritual and impractical, and they don’t have jobs or savings, then chances are you’ll be like them, too. To get out of debt, don’t take financial advice from people who, in their own lives, show no evidence of knowing what to study, how to find a job, how to save money, and so on. Instead of pushing away the people who “rain on your parade” with wisdom, grab them and keep them close. Watch what they do. Talk to them about your finances. Rely on them to hold you accountable for choosing a good major, updating your resume, and continuously growing your salary, through annual raises or job changes. That’s how you get better.

I don’t say these things in order to make women feel bad, or limit their freedom unnecessarily. I tell women to make good decisions to prepare for marriage, to practice self-denial and self-sacrifice, to choose the right men, to not be scared away by strong providers and men with moral and religious convictions. Although on one level, women can be scared off by men who have firm and definite convictions, they need to understand that these men are the most reliable men to marry. Men who don’t make demands on women usually don’t respond well to demands that women make on them. A strict moral and theological framework can seem scary to a woman – she might feel scared that she could be rejected. But it’s exactly these convictions that ground a man’s ability to keep loving her, to stick with her, and to encourage and support her as she grows.

Instead of being frightened by men who ask her to do good things, she should view it as an asset, not a liability. And the more she listens to his leading and grows, the more independent and capable she will be. She will feel better about doing hard things and playing a role. Better than she would feel about always choosing the easy way and then finding herself without accomplishments. Demanding men can be bad, but not if the demands they make are to build the woman up. The demand that a woman be serious about paying her debts with a real plan might seem scary to some women, but the study shows that this is good advice for her to be more attractive – to any man who might want to marry her.

Can a man marry a woman who thinks that all male leadership is “sexist”?

These days, many people of both sexes graduate college with a lot of student loan debt and no marketable skills at all. What do they learn? Well, they don’t learn anything, but they are brainwashed to believe in secular leftist dogma. And they’re also brainwashed to dismiss all opposition to secular leftist dogma by labeling it as “sexist”, “racist”, “homophobic”, “xenophobic”, etc.

I wrote previously about how men don’t like to marry non-virgins. I argued that women with a lot of sexual experience have proven that they prefer men who have “no-commitment” abilities. And those women also avoid men who have commitment abilities. I argued that if a man marries a woman with a lot of experience of giving no-commitment men sex, then she probably wouldn’t respect and admire his marriage-oriented skills enough to let him lead the home.

I believe that the brainwashing that women get when they do non-STEM degrees in liberal arts programs in college is the cause of their resistance to the leadership of marriage-minded men.

How does a marriage happen? Basically, a marriage-minded man prepares himself for marriage by denying himself “fun” in order to position himself to be a husband and father. He studies hard STEM subjects in order to get good jobs. His resume is gap-free. He started working early, and didn’t take summers off. He saves his money. He understands beliefs that are incompatible with marriage, such as pro-abortion, pro-divorce, etc. and he is able to argue against them. When he meets a woman, he presents his preparations to her, and tries to get her to focus on behaviors that will put her on a path to becoming a wife and mother. If she follows his lead, then she becomes safe for him to marry. He is able to see how she listens to his marriage plan, and adjusts her behavior in order to help him to execute the plan.

So what does this leadership look like? Well, in my case, I’ve tried to get women to switch from non-STEM to STEM degrees. To quit easy jobs like waitress and teacher and get hard jobs like IT Project Manager or Software Engineer. To stop wasting money on thrill-seeking and instead pay off loans, then invest. To stop watching TV and movies, and start reading good non-fiction books about marriage, parenting, apologetics, economics, etc. And to inform themselves about marriage related topics, e.g. – divorce, infertility, child development, homeschooling, daycare, school choice. Basically, getting them to drop childish anti-marriage and anti-family behaviors, and take up mature pro-marriage and pro-family behaviors, so that they become useful partners for a marriage enterprise.

But what about non-STEM college programs? What does college teach young women about this marriage-focused leadership from marriage-minded men? It depends on what she studies. If she does a STEM degree, she’ll have been forced to be accountable to reality in her assignments and exams. She’ll get a decent job and pay off student loans, allowing her husband to quickly buy her a house and give her children to raise while she’s still young. But, if she does a non-STEM degree, then not only will she probably have student loan debt and a useless degree and low-pay jobs, but she’ll also have been brainwashed with all sorts of anti-marriage and anti-family beliefs and behaviors. That’s because non-STEM programs are nothing more than brainwashing in secular leftist dogma. And I have an example of how this works in real life.

Everything too hard for her to learn or do is “sexist”

In the example below, a male expert on climate science corrects a female journalist about climate science. She dismisses his correction (not shown) as sexism.

Feminist journalist shames science expert as "sexist"
Feminist journalist shames science expert as “sexist”

Here is the biography of the male PhD in meteorology:

Ryan Maue is a research meteorologist. He has developed and maintained a popular weather maps and climate data service based on the world’s best numerical weather prediction systems. During his graduate studies at Florida State University, he researched extratropical and tropical cyclones, utilizing mesoscale models and large reanalysis datasets, and published multiple peer-reviewed articles. After his PhD in 2010, Maue was awarded a National Research Council postdoctoral associateship at the Naval Research Lab in Monterey, California where he focused on global weather prediction and verification.

And here is the biography of the female journalist with the BA in journalism:

She has a BA in journalism, and knows literally nothing about climate science, and has achieved literally nothing of value in the field of climate science that anyone would be willing to pay her for.

Crying “sexist” is literally everything that her degree in journalism taught her to do. She has one skill: how to dismiss expertise in reality-based practical disciplines as “sexist”, and therefore inferior to her feelings and intuitions.

Should marriage-minded men marry feminists?

So let’s ask and answer one simple question: should a marriage-minded man marry a woman who dismisses leadership from qualified men as “sexist”?

Let’s review the red flags of secular leftist feminist women:

  • she’s pro-abortion, so she thinks murdering an innocent child is how selfish adults escape the consequences of their own reckless actions
  • she’s pro-divorce, and will not hesitate for a second to break a commitment that makes her unhappy
  • she’s an atheist, so she can’t rationally ground the basic requirements of morality: free will, objective moral laws, etc. and therefore cannot be relied on to behave morally against her own self-interest
  • she’s a socialist, so she views money earned by the husband as the property of the secular left government
  • she’s a feminist, so she believes sex is recreational, and need not be reserved for a husband and wife in a covenant marriage, and she thinks that newborns should be tossed into daycare then public schools
  • she believes in same-sex marriage, so she thinks that children can be deprived of a relationship with their biological mother and/or father, for the benefit of selfish adults
  • etc.

Does this sound like she’s ready for a husband and children?

But more than the worldview issues are the practical issues. A woman with a non-STEM degree didn’t want to study subjects that are accountable to reality. She didn’t want to be a pharmacist, a nurse or a software engineer – those jobs would require her to produce work that corresponds to reality, and has value in the real world. People like her who graduate with non-STEM degrees don’t understand anything about how the world really works. They don’t understand economics, so they’re socialists. They can’t be reasoned with, because their views are determined by what makes them feel good, look good to peers, and what gives them maximum autonomy to pursue pleasure with minimum accountability. When secular leftists feminists crash and burn at self-sufficiency, they blame everyone else instead of themselves. All of these character traits make them really difficult to get along with in a marriage.

Can women like this be fixed up for marriage and motherhood? Well, that would require them to be open to marriage-minded men who would be able to lead them towards marriage and motherhood behaviors. But how did Emily respond to leadership from a male with real-world demonstrated ability in a practical area? She called his attempt to lead her “sexist”. And that is the standard response of secular leftist feminist women to male leadership. If you tell them to study computer science, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to stop wasting money, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to stop getting drunk, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to read a book on economics, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to watch a William Lane Craig debate, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to eat healthy and lift weights, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to get a challenging job, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to stop having recreational sex with bad boys, you’re “sexist”. Every attempt to focus a secular leftist feminist woman on preparing for marriage and motherhood is called “sexist”.

If women would only listen to what men ask of them as future wives and future mothers, and build themselves up for wife and mother roles, then women would never struggle to find husbands. No man in his right mind can risk marriage to a secular leftist feminist. There is no “secular leftist feminist” path to marriage. No amount of immodesty and premarital sex from a secular leftist feminist is enough to trick a man into marrying her. That might work on some men to get sex, but it’s not going to work to get her to marriage and children.

New study: 1 in 8 divorces is caused by student loan debt

I like to make plans in advance and calculate everything out before I try to do anything. This is the curse of being a software engineer. We’re taught to take a test-first approach to design. So, when I think about marriage, I naturally think about what tests marriage is supposed to pass, and work backwards from there to requirements for each of the spouses.

Here’s some research from CNBC that might help young people to avoid a divorce, if they respect the research in their choices.

Excerpt:

When it comes to student loan debt, “for richer, for poorer” doesn’t quite cut it.

In general, finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, according to a study by SunTrust Bank, but student debt takes a particularly hard toll on a marriage.

More than a third of borrowers said college loans and other money factors contributed to their divorce, according to a recent report from Student Loan Hero, a website for managing education debt.

In fact, 13 percent of divorcees blame student loans specifically for ending their relationship, the report found. Student Loan Hero surveyed more than 800 divorced adults in June.

Here is a link to the full study from Student Loan Hero.

I think in general, you can’t just do whatever you want before marrying and jump into it unprepared. Marriage involves specific requirements in order to work, such as being faithful to your spouse, and buying things that you need for the marriage enterprise, like a home, and baby stuff. It doesn’t make any sense to say “I want to get married” and then not prepare for marriage by being careful about preparing for the behaviors marriage that requires of you. Being debt-free is one of those behaviors that marriage requires of you.

So how can we be debt-free, so that the marriage will be stable? Well, one way to be debt-free is to find a way to learn skills that will allow you to get a job without going to college, like being a self-taught software engineer. One of my friends actually did that, and now he’s with a very good software company as a remote worker. But if you’re going to go to college, you can avoid debt by studying something that will get you a high-paying job when you graduate.

This 2017 article from Harvard Business Review is interesting.

It says:

Examining 46,934 resumes shared on Glassdoor by people who graduated between 2010 and 2017, the researchers looked at each person’s college major and their post-college jobs in the five years after graduation. They then estimated the median pay for each of those jobs (also using Glassdoor data) for employees with five years of experience or less. Their key finding: “Many college majors that lead to high-paying roles in tech and engineering are male dominated, while majors that lead to lower-paying roles in social sciences and liberal arts tend to be female dominated, placing men in higher-paying career pathways, on average.”

Here’s the plot, and you can click it to expand it:

Starting salaries by major, broken out by gender
Median salaries by major, broken out by gender – don’t study things at the bottom!

As you can see from the graph, it’s especially important to share the message about choosing a major, salaries and student loan debt with WOMEN, because as the graph shows, they tend to choose the wrong majors, if the goal is to pay off student loans and avoid divorce. Everyone who wants marriage to go smoothly needs to choose majors that are near the top of the graph, like nursing, chemical engineering, computer science, or mechanical engineering. It doesn’t make sense to go to college if you aren’t going to graduate in one of these high-paying fields.

As you might expect from the graph, women hold the majority of student loan debt, according to the Boston Globe, and that’s because women tend to choose majors that don’t result in good-paying jobs. And we already saw how this becomes a risk factor for divorce.

Student loans delay marriage and children

Another interesting piece of data, reported by The Consumerist, is that people with student loans tend to delay marriage, which means the couple has fewer children:

As consumers navigate life’s financial journey, they are faced with major financial milestones, like buying a home. But student loans are also delaying consumers from reaching these goals.

Survey respondents report delaying homeownership (23 percent), buying or leasing a car (23 percent), having children (10 percent) and getting married (9 percent) because of their student loan burdens.

So, it’s not just that there is an increased risk of divorce from student loans, but there’s also fewer children, which means a diminished legacy. I can’t speak for how others would see this, but for myself, I want to pass on my beliefs to as many effective, influential Christian children as I can.

Anyway, I feel obligated to post a relevant Dave Ramsey video, just to remind everyone that stewardship of money is a Christian virtue, and that being forgiven by Jesus for your sins doesn’t automatically make you good with money. It takes planning and stewardship.

This one from 2014: (H/T Robb)

 

When I was in high school, I was far more interested in becoming an English teacher than I was in becoming a software engineer. It was my Dad who overruled my choice of college major when I was still in high school. He had me take a first-year English course at a local university. When I saw how politicized and useless it was (they were studying all sorts of politically correct postmodern relativist stuff, instead of the Great Works, and they weren’t trying to learn any wisdom from any of it), I chose computer science. I did what was likely to avoid divorce, and likely to support having many children.

New study: 1 in 8 divorces is caused by student loan debt

I already mentioned the studies that show that marrying a non-virgin is less stable than marrying a virgin. But what about student loans? Are they a risk factor for divorce, too? I was reading over at Captain Capitalism and saw this CNBC article, which discusses data relevant to our recent discussion about whether men ought to prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos.

Excerpt:

When it comes to student loan debt, “for richer, for poorer” doesn’t quite cut it.

In general, finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, according to a study by SunTrust Bank, but student debt takes a particularly hard toll on a marriage.

More than a third of borrowers said college loans and other money factors contributed to their divorce, according to a recent report from Student Loan Hero, a website for managing education debt.

In fact, 13 percent of divorcees blame student loans specifically for ending their relationship, the report found. Student Loan Hero surveyed more than 800 divorced adults in June.

Now, when deciding whether to marry and who to marry, it does make sense to me to think about what needs to be bought and how much these things cost, and where the money will come from. It just makes sense to me that people who are REALLY interested in marriage will be interested in doing what works to prepare for marriage. You can’t just do whatever you want before marrying, because marriage involves being faithful to your spouse, and buying things that you need for the marriage enterprise, like a home, and baby stuff. It doesn’t make any sense to say “I want to get married” and then not prepare for marriage by being careful about what behavior marriage requires of you.

This 2017 article from Harvard Business Review is interesting.

It says:

Examining 46,934 resumes shared on Glassdoor by people who graduated between 2010 and 2017, the researchers looked at each person’s college major and their post-college jobs in the five years after graduation. They then estimated the median pay for each of those jobs (also using Glassdoor data) for employees with five years of experience or less. Their key finding: “Many college majors that lead to high-paying roles in tech and engineering are male dominated, while majors that lead to lower-paying roles in social sciences and liberal arts tend to be female dominated, placing men in higher-paying career pathways, on average.”

Here’s the plot, and you can click it to expand it:

Starting salaries by major, broken out by gender
Median salaries by major, broken out by gender – don’t study things at the bottom!

Maybe we can just simplify this whole issue by saying “it’s unwise to marry people who choose not to prepare themselves for marriage”. That goes for men and women, by the way. Basically, you can avoid student loans if you study something that you don’t feel like studying, and work jobs that you don’t feel like working, and don’t buy things that you feel like buying. Don’t marry people who are led by their feelings. Marry someone who demonstrates self-control.

Anyway, I feel obligated to post a relevant Dave Ramsey video, just to remind everyone that stewardship of money is a Christian virtue, and that being forgiven by Jesus for your sins doesn’t make you good with money.

This one from 2014: (H/T Robb)

When I was in high school, I was far more interested in becoming an English teacher than I was in becoming a software engineer. It was my Dad who overruled my choice of college major when I was still in high school. He had me take a first-year English course at a local university. When I saw how politicized and useless it was (they were studying all sorts of politically correct postmodern relativist stuff, instead of the Great Works, and they weren’t trying to learn any wisdom from any of it), I chose computer science. I did what was likely to work, instead of what was easy and fun and made me feel good. I think this makes me a grown-up. And marriage should only be done if there are two grown-ups involved in the enterprise.

Purdue University proposes alternative to student loans: income sharing

My friend Terrell sent this article to me from the Lafayette Journal & Courier. It talks about a change to Purdue’s student assistance program that will help students to think twice about what they are majoring it, and whether it will pay off.

Excerpt:

Purdue University is close to bringing income share agreements to campus by the next academic year.

Purdue Research Foundation is finalizing a contract with a partner firm that will fund student tuition in return for a percentage of income for several years after graduation, Brian Edelman, PRF’s chief financial officer, said Tuesday.

Purdue announced in August it was seeking a partner to launch the agreements as an alternative to student loans. The university received seven “expressions of interest” and narrowed the search down to one finalist, although Edelman said it’s too early to identify the firm and how the partnership might work.

But more details about how Purdue might implement the alternative have come available. PRF will complete a sample term sheet in the next few weeks and begin planning with a pilot of 100-300 students as early as this spring, Edelman said. Those students could receive funding for the entire 2016-17 year.

During a University Senate meeting Monday, Edel estimated what a contract might look like for students: A $10,000 investment might cost 3 percent to 5 percent of income for five to seven years. An individual earning $48,500 a year — the median income among college graduates in 2013, according to the National Center for Education Statistics — would be on the hook for as little as $7,275 or as much as $16,975, depending on the terms.

This part made me laugh:

Other faculty members expressed concern that such agreements might favor STEM or business students, who typically have higher incomes and better job prospects after graduation, and steer the university and faculty toward producing graduates who earn more income.

Well of course the faculty don’t want students to think about getting a return on their degree – because then most of them would be out of a job! College education only makes sense if you can get a return on your investment. In theory, you could study anything and get a return on your investment. In practice, you’re better off with STEM degrees – lower post-graduation unemployment, and better starting and median salaries.

Look:

Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)
Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)

I love this idea by Purdue, it will really help students to think about what they are studying, and that is good for taxpayers, because something tells me that we are going to get the bill for the $1 trillion in outstanding student loans.