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Short Title

Which U.S. Households Use Education Loans?

Abstract

This empirical study uses the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to investigate the characteristics of households that hold at least one loan for educational expenses. The benefit of using household-level data is that a single household may have education loans for multiple people in the household, including the household head, spouse/partner, and children. In studies of the education loan debt of individuals, the true effect on households may be overlooked. The present results show that the respondent’s age, respondent’s marital status, having at least one dependent child under the age of 18, net worth, home ownership, stock ownership, being retired, being Hispanic, and being in the “other” race/ethnicity group each have a negative relationship with the likelihood of holding education loans. In contrast, the respondent’s education, having at least one dependent child who is 18-25 years of age, being a female, and being non-Hispanic Black have a positive relationship with the likelihood of holding education loans.

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