Debt financing your law degree with student loans is going to ruin your life. Fine, that’s a little harsh. Let’s try again. Debt financing your law degree with student loans is going to be a huge setback and you’re probably going to have to significantly delay starting your life. There we go. It’s brutally honest but it’s true.

According to a new report put together by the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, student loan debt serves as an albatross around the necks of the nearly 1,100 lawyers in the early stages of their careers who responded to a YLD survey. “Participants said heavy student loan debt is affecting virtually every aspect of their lives,” per the report. Really? No shit. Student loan debt ruins everything. More than half of the survey respondents—56%–said they had postponed the decision to buy a house or opted to forgo buying altogether as a result of their debts. And 29% said they had either decided to postpone getting married or not get married because of debt. When it comes to having a children, 48% said their debt prompted them to delay that or decide to not have children altogether. … More than half of the survey respondents—58%–said they postponed or decided not to take a vacation because of their loan debt, while 46% said they decided not to buy a car or postponed a car purchase due to their loans. Survey respondents reported a median educational debt load of $160,000 (including undergraduate debt), and forty percent said their current debt load was higher than when they first graduated thanks to interest. About one quarter of the young lawyers who took the survey provided short answers about how those monstrous debt loads were affecting their lives. In short, shouldering this debt is causing lawyers to suffer. “There was an underlying theme of unhappiness, frustration and fear stemming from loan burdens,” the report reads. “Many mentioned issues with mental health, and some cited depression. Others mentioned an inability to save for the future or retirement, as well as difficult choices related to healthcare for themselves or […]

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