Millennials put off major buys as student debt mounts

Graduate

More than half of millennials have delayed major life events because of debt, according to a new study.

Bankrate.com said 56 percent of millennials with current or past student loans have put off significant purchase because of their debt, compared with 43 percent of older adults, according to a new Bankrate.com study.
Buying a home is the most common event people have delayed due to student debt, trailed closely by saving for retirement and buying a car, Bankrate.com said.

According to the Project on Student Debt, 2013 graduates from North Carolina colleges in 2013 had an average debt of $24,319.

Here was the average debt by school, as reported to Peterson’s Undergraduate Financial Aid and Undergraduate data bases:

  • Meredith: $35,425
    William Peace: $33,147
    Saint Augustine’s: $30,210
    Elon: $28,327
    E. Carolina $28,312
    N.C. State: $23,532
    Duke: $18,456
    UNC-Chapel Hill: $17,602.
    N.C. Central: $1,010

While student loan debt has hit millennials hardest in terms of delaying major life events, the Bankrate.com survey found that just 28 percent of 18-29 year-olds have ever had student loan debt, compared with 41 percent of 30-49 year-olds.

“Student debt is often portrayed strictly as a millennial issue, but the truth is that Americans of all ages have put their lives on hold due to student debt,” said Steve Pounds, Bankrate.com analyst. “Delaying major life milestones such as buying a home or saving for retirement doesn’t only affect the individual and his or her family; it also has ill effects on the overall economy.”

More than half of student loan borrowers say they didn’t receive enough information or advice about the financial risks of taking on education loans.

“Most families are not advised through this process. The decision to take on this debt is largely made based on the fact that this is the only way to pay,” says Allan Katz, president of Comprehensive Wealth Management Group in Staten Island, New York, told Bankrate.com. “The key is to plan properly early so that you can reduce the amount of debt you are taking (in) the first place.”

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