My student-loan debt is from my post-graduate degree, to the tune of around $100,000. My tuition alone was closer to the mid-70s, and yes, I chose to go to NYU, an extremely expensive school in an extremely expensive and competitive city. Some industries require that you work in a specific location, however, if you ever want to progress above a certain level of pay in your career. So, doing the math, the debt seemed to be worth taking on, as I couldn't expect to increase my salary (ever) in publishing without moving and getting an advanced degree. Just like almost everyone else in this country, however, the calculations I had made regarding the future were completely irrelevant once the economy crashed. I can't even process how long it will take me to pay the loans off, because my salary progression will never come close to what I could have reasonably hoped for in 2006. I'm incredibly lucky, though, because I do have a job that pays a decent wage in my industry. It's not nearly enough to cover my loans, though. My payments are nearly $1,000/month. My parents are in a position to help me, and we split the payments each month, and even then it's an exorbitant amount of money for me. Just like I can't fathom (and don't bother putting myself through that) how much debt I'm really in, I can't fathom how lucky I am that my parents do this for me. Now that I've gotten all of that off my chest (student-loan debt is not something I vent about to anyone—it's just as depressing, if not more, for all of my friends), I'll get to my real point: My parents aren't wealthy. They are upper-middle class and they are very generous, but giving me this money affects their spending power and their net worth. My flawless payment record on my loans does not reflect my personal ability to repay them via my place in the economy. Together, we make it work, but everything about our personal credit and our bank accounts is skewed. Even for the young adults who are making their payments on time, I'm sure this is the case for a good amount of them. It makes the financial health of my generation (which is completely piss poor) seem inflated. It makes things seem better than they are. Considering how bad everything seems already, it's ultimately just another bubble waiting to burst. My parents can't "help" me forever.