New research from the federal government suggests that student debt is keeping young people from buying homes.
Facts from the study:
—“Just 36 percent of household heads between 24 and 32 years old owned homes in 2014, down from 45 percent in 2005. At the same time, average student debt per capita rose to an inflation-adjusted $10,000 from $5,000 in 2005.”
—“About 20 percent of the decline in homeownership among young adults can be attributed to that increase in student loan debt, the authors estimate, making such borrowing an important, but not central, driver of the decline.”
—“Some 400,000 more young people would have owned homes in 2014 if debt burdens hadn’t risen.”
It’s not just a matter of cash flow—student debt can hurt credit scores, which in turn decreases ability to borrow. ‘This finding has implications well beyond home ownership, as credit scores impact consumers’ access to and cost of nearly all kinds of credit, including auto loans and credit cards.
Organizations representing industries which offer many high-paying jobs that do not require a college degree with the associated debt are targeting young people in a tight labor market, with information that there are opportunities, in areas such as manufacturing, which allow them to avoid the debt trap.