Student Loan Debt Delaying Homeownership by 7 Years

The National Association of Realtors and American Student Assistance finds that the median student debt balance is $41,200, leaving millennials to delay marriage, having children, retirement savings and homeownership.

The study finds that the homeownership is delayed by as much as 7 years for millennials.

Just 20% of respondents to the survey owned a home, with the average respondent earning $38,8000 annually. Over half of those that responded to the survey had over $40,000 in student loan debt, with 79% of all respondents borrowing money to pay for their education.

The survey found that 83% of non-owners put the blame on student debt for delaying their home buying. Students who do own a home are also holding off on buying a better home because they can’t afford a higher mortgage along with their student loan requirements.

“Although some banks will approve a loan with a back-end debt-to-income of up to 50%, most won’t tolerate anything over 36%,” states Refinance Student Loans.

The data, compiled with completed surveys from 2,203 borrowers, is accurate as of April 2017. First-time home buyers is on the decline, falling from a historical average of 40% to 33% in the past three years.

Homeownership isn’t the only sacrifice of millennials, according to the survey.

Eighty-six percent of millennials have made career sacrifices, which may include staying in a position they dislike or taking a second job to repay their loans. Over half of those who responded also delayed starting a family and continuing their education due to their loan repayment requirements.

Millennials are also forgoing marriage because of debt. Forty-one percent haven’t gotten married yet because they have too much student debt.

Retirement savings is also suffering. Six-one percent of the 2,200 respondents haven’t saved for their retirement at all. Some thirty-two percent of respondents contributed a reduced amount to their retirement and were only able to contribute some of the time.

Student loan debt is up 150% over the last decade. Debt has increased by $833 billion in the last decade, swelling to over $1.4 trillion dollars in the span. Student loan debt is the second-largest expense behind purchasing a home.

Delinquent student loan payments are down 3% in the past decade.

A survey by Citizens Bank found that 36% of student loan debtors said they would not have went to college if they fully understood the student loan debt they would incur. Experts suggest that higher education is worth the investment because the debtor’s income will be higher over the course of their career.

David Jackson

David is a personal finance expert, a professional male model, and an entertainment writer.