Question of the Day: Do consumers struggle more with repaying mortgage debt or student loan debt?

Jun 03, 2018
Student Loans, Question of the Day, Paying for College, Mortgages

Answer Student loan debt. Student loans had a 10.7% delinquency rate (over 90 days past due) vs. mortgage debt which had a delinquency rate of 1.2% in 1Q 2018. 


  • What is the major difference between how a lender evaluates a consumer taking out a mortgage vs. how the government evaluates a student taking out a federal student loan? 
  • What do you think happens if someone stops making payments on their mortgage? On their student loan? 
  • Why do you think that more than 1 in 10 students are currently struggling with student debt? 

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the Numbers (from New York Federal Reserve Report): 

  • 10.7% of aggregate student debt was 90+ days delinquent or in default in 2018Q1, a decline from the previous quarter.
  • Mortgage delinquencies continued to improve, with 1.2% of mortgage balances 90 or more days delinquent in 2018Q1.


Looking for more Questions of the Day to jumpstart your class? Here are 200+ to satisfy your students' curiosity! 


About the Authors

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.