Why Do Many Banks Consider Student Loans Risky Investments

Why Do Many Banks Consider Student Loans Risky Investments
Written by Benny Koteeni

Why Do Many Banks Consider Student Loans Risky Investments

Banks are financial institutions that are licensed to collect monetary deposits and give out loans. The most common types of banks are commercial banks and investment banks.

Banks provide a range of financial services like safeguarding money for individuals and businesses as well as giving loans, pension fund management services, investment, and even providing safe deposit boxes to safeguard important personal items.

In most countries like the United States, financial regulation is handled by a Central Bank. The central bank coordinates and controls all financial transactions that take place through all other banks, whether large or small.

In terms of loans, central banks also try to regulate how much money banks can give out to individuals and businesses in terms of loans. They try to make sure that banks give out a lot of money to help people cope with heavy economic challenges but not to the detriment of the bank.

Banks are therefore allowed to create systems and regulation criteria to determine who is eligible for a loan or not to protect themselves from heavy losses.

One of the major regulations that banks have created to check losses from unpaid loans is the ‘creditworthiness check’.

Creditworthiness is a score that builds up as you take loans and pay them back successfully. The more you pay, the higher your credit score. This shows the banks that you are trustworthy enough to access their funds, and you will pay back.

Applying for a credit card is one of the best ways to build up your credit score over time. Another way is buying a home on a mortgage, paying your mortgage consistently, and also having collateral like land or assets.

Given this, a critical demographic of people to consider in this equation is students. Do they fit into the banking system? Another great question to ask then would be why do many banks consider student loans risky investments?

The answer is pretty simple. As outlined above, it is difficult for a student who does not yet have any real responsibility in society to have a great credit score. Student loans can also not be backed by any collateral because they cannot be expected to have any.

They cannot have a mortgage because they are still living in school dorms and short lets, and all of these make student loans unsecured loans.

So many banks consider student loans to be risky investments that will increase their Non-Performing Loans (NPL) index significantly.

Despite this, every nation considers education as an important and necessary tool for everyone’s life and lays the foundation for a better life.

Suppose one is successful at learning the fundamentals of what it takes to excel in their chosen discipline, preparing them to contribute to society and bring stability, financial security and economic independence for themselves and their families.

However, the cost of education, especially higher education, is indeed high, especially in prestigious schools and colleges with many students without the support of parents or family to help them through their education.

Hence, students have no choice but to opt more and more for education loans to survive their time in school, so why then do many banks consider student loans as risky investments when they are equally important to society.

Many banks consider student loans as risky investments because the rate of payment defaulting is quite high, and there is also a lot of competition for student loan companies due to the support that the government provides for student loans.

The government is aware that many banks consider student loans risky investments, and so they try to provide insurance cover for these banks to ensure that the banks, in turn, can provide student loans to them with a plan to pay back when they start working and earning.

This turn of events has turned the tide and made student loans a very good investment for banks. This article will explore why many banks consider student loans risky investments, and we will also look at some of the benefits of student loans.

Recent studies have shown that the average graduate in the US leaves school with over $36,000 in student loan debt. This can be a huge burden, especially if they cannot find a very well-paying job immediately after school plus other living expenses.

These high figures are created by the high-interest rates that financial institutions place on student loans. Research has also shown that student loan debt represents over 3% of annual debt in the US, running into over 1 trillion dollars.

These high-interest rates on student loans also make it a huge challenge to pay off, and sometimes the monthly payments can significantly affect your income for a long time unless you find a great source of income like a good-paying job to make things easier for you.

Also, as we detailed above, defaulting on your student loan payments can greatly affect your credit score negatively, and you may ruin the risk of not being able to qualify for a home mortgage or a car loan, equipment loan, etc. in the future.

All these and more make student loan debt a significant problem for many people.

The reason many banks consider student loans risky investments has to do with the fact that they cannot get instant gratification because the only hope of them getting their money back is futuristic, and the future can be full of uncertainty sometimes.

Experience has also shown that sometimes things don’t go the way the students plan, and the loan drags on for many years, which is not beneficial to the bank, so both the bank and the student are usually at risk in these situations and this is a major reason why many banks consider student loans to be risky investments.

There are many questions to ask when looking into student loans, and we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to provide you with most of the information you need.

Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is The Average Interest Rate For A Student Loan?

Interest rates for student loans are mostly based on the type of loan and the financial institution. Typically, government-based loans have fixed interest rates, while other private loans are usually variable with their rates.

However, student loans have an average interest rate of about 4.5% for government student loans and up to 9.6% for private student loans.

What is The Allowed Duration For Me To Repay My Student Loans?

There is no predetermined time frame to pay up your student loans, but it is advisable to pay them up as soon as you can, as the longer, the debt stays, the more difficult it will be to access other kinds of loans like a mortgage or car loans.

The unspecified timelines for repayment are also one of the reasons many banks consider student loans a risky investment.

What Will Happen If I Default On My Student Loans?

Defaulting on your student loans could have a very negative impact on your general credit score, which would ultimately damage your creditworthiness, and it may become difficult to obtain other loans in the future.

Also, the government could deduct heavily from your payments at some point to cover your debt which could affect your livelihood. If you default on your loans, it will make things more difficult for other students who are coming up.

As banks already consider student loans a risky investment, it would further prove their case, and they may tighten policies and interest rates around their loans.


The truth remains that many banks consider student loans a risky investment because of the absence of collateral or any form of creditworthiness from the students, as well as the many uncertainties surrounding repayment.

However, it is possible to pay off your loan in good time with discipline, courage, and strength.

Work hard in school to be the best, and you’ll surely find a good job that can handle the rest. Be responsible with your student loans so you can be the difference for the upcoming students to stand a fighting chance also.

Also find out how to balance work and education.

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