Millennials are more likely to put off buying their first homes than they are to postpone marriage or purchase cars, according to a survey by Bankrate.
In fact, 56% of those between 18 and 29 with student loans said they have delayed a major life event because they are paying off the loans.
Bankrate estimated that 45% of college graduates, along with more than one-third of those who said they finished “some college,” carry student debt. A quarter of them said they delayed buying a home because of it, while almost a quarter waited to buy a car or save for retirement.
Homebuilders can expect what some have called the student debt “crisis” to continue to prevent young buyers from saving for down payments, qualifying for mortgages and making hefty home loan payments for at least a decade.
A new book by University of Kansas researchers William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis advises college graduates to delay homeownership for that long as they dig their way out of their debt and save for the major milestones of their future.
The proof is in the statistics: Homeownership among Americans younger than 35 slipped from 43.5% in 2005 to 34.6% in 2015, according to the Census Bureau. And in a survey by the National Association of Realtors, 57% of first-time homebuyers said student debt was preventing them from saving for a home.
The borrowers in the Bankrate survey said the students did not understand the risks of carrying debt at the time they took out the loans.