The $1.6 Trillion Challenge: Helping to Crack the Student Debt Crisis

Tracy Courtemanche
Tracy Courtemanche
is the Senior Director, Global Marketing - Education at Flywire.

As many prepare for the start of another school year, the student debt crisis continues to loom. Did you know that there’s roughly $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt in the US alone? Consider that alongside the fact that education costs have more than doubled over the last two decades, according to CollegeBoard’s latest “Trends in College Pricing: 2018” report. Today’s students continue to face rising tuition costs that significantly outpace both inflation and wage growth rates. latest “Payment Plans and The College Affordability Test” podcast features a discussion between Karen Webster and Sharon Butler, Flywire’s EVP, Global Education, on the state of rising tuition costs, student debt and the need for more flexible payment solutions. Sharon shares how payment plans can help ease many of the pain points associated with paying for college tuition.

During this podcast and accompanying article, Sharon notes that the decision to take on student debt can be among the most significant financial events in a borrower’s life – and in many cases, it does not get the careful consideration it warrants. This is why financial literacy is key.

“Financial literacy might also include gaining knowledge on the availability and affordability of payment plans on offer from schools,” Sharon continues. “Payment plans could relieve tuition anxieties, as they are tailored to be affordable for individual financial situations.”

The findings in PYMNTS recent Tuition Payments Study point to payment plans as a useful option for staying timely with loan payments. This study, which surveyed nearly 2,000 consumers, found that loans were selected the top choice when making tuition payments by 46.4 percent of enrolled students and 40.5 percent of those who support them financially. However, nearly 48.7 percent of students and 38.2 percent of supporters are behind on their payments or have been in the past. The study also shows that 72 percent are interested in payment solutions because they ease the payment process, and more than 37 percent would be interested in plans where debt is paid down while the student is attending school.

At Flywire, we believe in building strong relationships that future-proof the payment experience for institutions and students worldwide. This is why we take the time to understand unique industry challenges such as rising tuition costs and student debt.

Our solutions help institutions meet the needs of today’s students while preparing for tomorrow. As part of this solution, the following products enable institutions to address the student debt crisis by providing payment options that reduce borrowing:

Payment Plans: offer flexible options that make education costs more manageable for students and families

Collections: proactively collect on more past-due accounts internally, reduce collection agency placements, and ultimately keep more students enrolled

Flywire has been solving complex payment problems for education institutions since 2009. Today, we continue to empower opportunities by connecting over a million students with almost 2,000 institutions to improve the payment experience worldwide. By combining industry expertise with a powerful global payment network, our solutions makes transactions faster, more secure, less expensive, and more transparent.