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Discover Student Loans Annual Survey: Majority Of Parents Worried About Long-Term Impact Of Student Loan Debt

The third annual survey from Discover Student Loans reveals that while 96 percent of parents continue to see the value of a college education, 85 percent are very or somewhat worried that student loan debt will affect their child’s ability to buy a home, car or other large purchase after college.

Although parents are concerned about student loan debt, they appear less likely to include the price of a university in the decision-making process. Forty-eight percent of parents said that cost would not be a factor when choosing a college, an 8 percent increase from 2013. Forty-four percent of parents said they were planning to limit college choices based on price and 9 percent were not sure, both decreases from the previous year.

“It is promising to see families recognize the investment in a college education and are considering their children’s long-term financial health beyond graduation,” said Danny Ray, president of Discover Student Loans. “We hope that this annual survey brings to light the need for families to review all of their options when going to college. We encourage students to always use free money first when financing a college education and then, if needed, determine what lending options work best for their needs.”

Parents Still Worry about Cost

Seventy-seven percent of parents said they plan to help their child pay for college, a slight decrease from 81 percent in 2013. Sixteen percent of families don’t plan on contributing anything.

While families want to help pay for college, parents routinely said they are worried about having enough money. Throughout the last three years, numbers have remained fairly consistent with three out of four families saying they are very or somewhat worried about having enough money to cover college costs. A quarter of parents are not very or not at all worried about having enough money.

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