Student loan debt hurts millennials and women most
NEW YORK – Nov. 19, 2018 – Consumers drowning in student loan debt say that it's delaying their purchase of a home – a concern most often faced by women and millennials, according to the sixth annual NeighborWorks America at Home report, a survey of about 1,000 U.S. adults.
Rising costs have prompted overall student loan debt to climb 130 percent since 2008. It now surpasses $1.5 trillion and makes up 42 percent of all consumer debt, according to the report. Of that, women carry about two-thirds of the total debt – nearly $900 billion.
Twenty-nine percent of women say they're "burdened" by student loan debt compared to 23 percent of men, and minority women have nearly double the amount of debt as white women. As a result, 38 percent of women say they know someone who delayed buying a home because of student loan debt.
Millennials also face heavy debt from student loans: 57 percent surveyed say they're burdened by student debt, and 59 percent say either they or someone they know has delayed a home purchase because of that debt.
"It's important for people to have the tools and resources they need to be informed consumers from the moment they consider owning a home," says Karen Hoskins, acting vice president of homeownership programs and lending at NeighborWorks America. "A housing counselor can guide them through what often seems a daunting, confusing process."
The report suggests financial counseling through nonprofit housing groups or downpayment assistance programs to help people who struggle with student loan debt but want to buy a home.
A separate study in 2017 by the National Association of Realtors® found that 83 percent of non-homeowners cited student loan debt as the chief factor delaying them from buying a home. That delay to buy was about seven years. Further, 22 percent of consumers surveyed say they were delayed by at least two years in moving out of a family member's home after college because of their student loans.
Source: "2018 America at Home Survey," NeighborWorks America (2018)
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