Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of attending the financial bloggers conference. The conference was held in st louis (and was fantastic, as usual). Thrown yearly by my friend Phil Taylor of PT Money, I had a great time and learned a ton. I’m not going to bore you with a full recap, but there were a few things I wanted to point out.
The first is that I won my first blogging award! Every year, they have the Plutus awards at the financial bloggers conference, and I won for the “best green/sustainability finance blog”. It was nice to win, unfortunately I was in the restroom at the time and had to go collect my trophy the next day. Since I was a winner, the kind people at Experian asked me to come cut a short video segment on what I thought was the most pressing financial issue right now.
For me, I thought about it a bit, but there was 1 true winner – student loans. People who aren’t old enough to (legally) have a beer are borrowing thousands and thousands of dollars to go to school! I don’t feel like 95% (or more) of the 18 year olds signing those papers really understand exactly what they are doing will mean to them 5 years down the road. Here’s the video clip:
If you’re curious, I talked about student loans. I think they are a real problem because a lot of people take them out, and when they do, they can quickly get north of 20k in the hole without any sort of earning power to back it up. At 18, I don’t think that most are ready for that sort of debt.
The most interesting part of the talk was chatting with the sound guy after – he said he was in his mid thirties and had just finished paying back almost 90k (!!!) in student loan debt that him and his wife had just paid off, much of it in the last 2-3 years. Being in that big of a hole really limits your opportunities when you’re just starting out, which I think is a huge barrier.
Readers: What do you think the most pressing issue is, financially speaking?