Student loan debt has racked up a collective $1.5 trillion bill for 44 million Americans, and its crushing people’s homeownership dreams.
According to a recent survey by NeighborWorks America, people with student loans to pay off are delaying purchasing a home and many worry about this debt most or all of the time.
Student loan debt has ballooned 130% since 2008, according to the survey, and that’s why Millennials are taking the biggest hit.
Millennials are shouldering most of this debt, with 57% of them saying they are still paying bills for their education and 59% saying that they or someone they know has delayed purchasing a home because of their loans.
While 56% said they worry about this debt all or most of the time, 46% said they were unaware of local nonprofits offering free or low-cost counseling on how to best handle it.
The study also found that women are more likely to carry student debt than men, and that women of color were particularly impacted.
It also revealed that 38% of women said they knew someone who had delayed buying a home because of this 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," Hoskins added. "They also will benefit by thinking about nonprofits as helpful sources of services and information. Down-payment assistance is especially helpful for homebuyers who struggle because of student loan debt.”