Wednesday, June 11, 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 3
lip-sliding away Recent graduates can't pay
student loans, credit-card bills
* 'Generation X'
members have trouble
By Matt D. Weller
Daily Staff Reporter
The twenty-something generation,
dubbed 'Generation X' by baby
boomers, is making its way into the
business field, the entertainment
industry and other professional
They are also discovering a more
dubious adult field - the great wild
world of debt.
U.S. News and World Report
claimed that outstanding credit-card
balances for people younger than 25
grew from $885 to $1721 in the last
They also reported that 65 percent
of college students have credit cards,
one-fifth of those students have four
or more cards.
"When I first got a credit card, I
maxed it out in about a month," said
Ann Arbor resident Lisa Barnes.
"It took forever to pay (the debt
Economics Prof. Robert Porter
said the recent flux of credit-card
debt has almost as many causes as it
The most obvious problem is that
credit cards are handed out like
candy; anyone able to write legibly
enough to fill out an application and
mail it in can get one, he said.
"Very easy to get one, isn't it?"
asked Porter. "Even for people with
terrible credit ratings."
Porter also said that part of the
reason twenty-somethings are start-
ing of their adult lives "in the red" is
"People do not realize that they
need to plan ... part of it is igno-
Porter said many young people
often ignore interest rates, which
hover at around 18 percent.
He said they
fail to realize
$150 on a Every
will cost a shouldt
person more "
than that in maximum
intert said student 1
young people -
also have dan- Econ
therefore ignore their troubled
"Young people tend to think of
themselves as immortal," he said.
"When you max out the first credit
card, that should tell you some-
However, Porter also said that
establishing a credit line is vital to
ones economic future.
"The first thing a young person
should do is go borrow money and
pay it back on time," Porter said.
He said that until a person estab-
lishes a credit line, he or she is
lumped in the same category as
those who have a poor credit line.
Porter said that student loans, the
other primary cause of student
debt, are well worth the burden
they can have on students after
Student loans have lower interest
rates than any other type of loan and
a person is not obligated to pay
interest on a student loan while in
student dent should
take out a
keW out a maximum of
oars. f said.
- Robert Porter that although it
)mics professor may seem
amount of student-loan debt, the
amount of money a person can eam
with a college degree outweighs the
cost of the loan, plus the education
offers something that money can't.
"It's a great investment."
Porter did acknowledge that hav-
ing massive loan debts to pay off
could influence a person's career
"If you were on the borderline
between being an entrepenuer and a
missionary, a large amount of student
loans might sway you a bit."
A young girl enjoys summer vacation an
at Fuller Park.
tinued from Page 2
& ere's additional freedom and addi-
tional responsibility," Hower said. She
said orientation will assist them in learn-
ing how to adapt to a university environ-
But for now, most of the orientees sim-
ply enjoy the fact that "they let us do
whatever we want."
Some students took advantage of this
by going to parties at night, staying out
10 3:30 am, or skipping some of the
"I overheard a few people saying they
were going to skip a few things," said
incoming first-year student Mark
Bouma. "There wasn't a way of policing
Jordan Litwin, also an incoming first-
year student, admitted to skipping some
of the skits. "They were well-done, but
the Bulls game was on."
Kissling said it was the same when she
I think I skipped a diversity thing, but
I went to most of (the programming),"
Kissling said. "The thing was that you
were sitting in these un-air-conditioned
rooms while these people talked on and
Aside from the expected unpleasant-
ness of the placement testing for foreign
language, chemistry and math, some stu-
dents said that registering for classes was
Some orientees said the Computerized
Registration Involving Student
Participation class registration program
d the sunshine on the new watersilde
"If I couldn't find the right number,
(the CRISP lady would) repeat it over
and over. Then she hung up on me," said
"If you're not fast enough, they hang
up on you;" Bouren said.
But not all students had such difficul-
"I liked signing up for classes," Litwin
said. "It was really easy. I was in and out
in less than 15 minutes."
Students who experienced registration
difficulties could count on their student
orientation leaders for assistance.
"Everyone was really helpful," Litwin
said. "I was impressed alot -especially
because of the size of the school. You
don't really expect individualized atten-
But two solid weeks of training for the
student leaders were designed to provide
"We really want (the leaders) to be
responsive. That's where we personalize
the program," Hower said.
Students cited the traditional wall
through the Cooley fountain as the high-
light of the tour, but the best memories of
orientation are the people.
"Everyone was friendly and trying t
meet people. I still talk to a lot of the peo
ple I met at Orientation," Kissling said.
Most of the incoming students wer
excited about returning to the University
in the fall, meeting more people, getting
involved in extra-curricular activites afte
attending Festifall and experiencing
more Michigan traditions.
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