College Costs: Money Confidence Killer #1

College Costs: Money Confidence Killer #1

Overall, financial confidence seems to be finally making a comeback.

After all, whether you're looking at increased savings among Millennials, fuzzier feelings toward retirement or even soaring credit scores, the news shows some pretty sunny stats.

And numbers from the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index now only help to back up this sentiment—to a certain extent.

The index, which measures Americans' overall attitudes toward their money, jumped 2.1 points this year to 66.9—a record high since the Great Recession.

Of the survey participants, half reported that their overall level of financial security was good or excellent. Even better, about four out of five said their finances were on track to stabilize or even become better in the future.

That's thanks to a number of improving benchmarks: 78% now feel they can pay off their debts as bills come due, 50% are setting aside money for savings, and 58% believe they're on track for a comfortable retirement.

But there is one area where all that optimism comes to a dead halt: the ability to finance the ballooning costs of college.

In fact, the index found that a mere 18% of Americans feel confident they have enough funds to send their students to college—a stat that actually fell 12% during just the first half of 2015.

And with the average graduate leaving with more than $35,000 in debt, it's no surprise that only 37% of Millennials feel confident they can pay back those student loans as they come due.

Curious how real families manage to save for higher ed? Find out how five teens plan to pay for college.


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