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Student Debt Sidelines Half of Would-Be Buyers

Sixty percent of non-homeowning millennials say student loan debt is delaying their ability to buy a home, by far the most affected population, according to a poll released by the National Association of REALTORS®. More than half of all student debt holders have had to delay purchasing a home and making other major life decisions due to their debt.

The findings also show that Americans burdened with high student debt see the impact on their daily lives. They often must choose between investing in their retirement, purchasing a home, buying a car, getting married, starting a family, or general savings.

According to the report, housing affordability is worsening, leaving future home buyers with student debt at a severe disadvantage. Younger Americans shouldn't have to choose between education and homeownership, and NAR continues to pursue policies that ensure the American dream remains available and accessible for those still paying off their

college education.

According to the report, 51 percent of all student loan holders say their debt delayed them from purchasing a home. Thirty-six percent of student loan debtholders say student loan debt delayed their decision to move out of a family member’s home, a percentage that rises to 52 percent among Black debtholders. Ultimately, the report shows that 31 percent of millennials and 28 percent of Black student debtholders would use their additional funds to purchase a home in the future with no student loan debt.

Aside from just purchasing a home, this report finds that more than half of those with student loan debt have delayed some form of major life choice. Student loan debt isn’t just seeping into housing affordability. It's also affecting other aspects of people's lives.

To address the growing debt burden, NAR supports a multipronged approach. Financial education should be expanded to aid students as they face decisions about financing their education, while aid programs should be simplified. For those who hold debt, opportunities to consolidate and refinance debt at lower rates will help debtholders lower monthly debt payments, make large purchases, and make wise life choices. Finally, NAR favors expanding tax preferences for employers who assist employees with their student debt as well as tax forgiveness for debtholders who have their debt forgiven or paid off by their employer.

To read the report, click here.


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