Attitude Toward Student Debt

Attitude Toward Student Debt is a 20-item measure of individual attitudes toward the value of educational loans. Aspects captured by the scale include perceived potential for future employment or stress caused by incurred debt. This measure was used to study gender differences in personal finance concepts for two groups of university students.


Geographies Tested: New Zealand,United Kingdom

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


1. I expect to earn more in the future because I went to university
2. Educational loan debt is a good investment for the future
3. I have a greater chance of getting a job if I have a degree
4. I worry that the repayments on my debt will become unaffordable
5. I have a good idea about how much student loan debt I am incurring
6. I will start to deal with my student debt once I leave university and get a job
7. Debt is an expected outcome of attending university
8. I use debt to pay for a good social life
9. I use debt so I don't miss out on 'normal' student experiences
10. The debt I create as a student is an unfair start to my working life
11. I use debt to pay for luxuries
12. I sometimes can't sleep because I worry about how much debt I am in
13. I worry about debt to the point where it affects my grades
14. I feel I have a good understanding of how student loans work
15. I minimise my spending to minimise my debt
16. I know about the repayment terms for my student loan
17. I have a good idea about how much credit card and overdraft debt I am incurring
18. The best use of my student debt is to pay for my university expenses
19. Even though I am incurring debt now, it will be worth it in the future
20. I feel isolated by my student debt

Response Options
(5-point Likert scale)
Strongly agree - 1
Strongly disagree - 5

Scoring Procedures

Not Available

Original Citation

Agnew, S., & Harrison, N. (2015). Financial literacy and student attitudes to debt: A cross national study examining the influence of gender on personal finance concepts. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 25, 122-129.

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Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








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