Studies suggest the opposite. High indebtedness strongly correlates with lower lifetime earnings, which is why on average student debt costs you much more than twice the cost of just paying back the debt. The theory is that when you're in debt you are less willing to take even safe, routine risks in terms of your career because you can't afford the salary variance that such risks entail. Much like an all bond financial portfolio, a low risk career path has lower earnings overall. Source: http://www.demos.org/what-cost-how-student-debt-reduces-lifetime-wealth$225, 000 debt - without it would one not have the drive/discipline to complete training and excel. Less of a debt (<50,000), maybe not be as aggressive or hungry?