The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) teamed up with American Student Assistance®’s (ASA’s) SALT® consumer literacy program to conduct a survey of student loan borrowers who are current in repayment. Of the respondents 71% cite student loan debt as the factor delaying them from buying a home.

The U.S. currently has a student debt load of $1.3 trillion, which accounts for 10 percent of all outstanding debt. As the magnitude of student debt continues to rise the homeownership rate falls, especially among young people. Among the respondents 39% owe $30,000 or less, 48% owe between $30,000-$100,000 and 14% owe more than $100,000. Only 55% of student loan borrowers are current in repayment.
Of this group only 18% are homeowners, 78% say they can’t save for a down payment, 63% can’t qualify for a mortgage due to high debt to income ratios, 47% can’t afford to buy their preferred house or neighborhood, and 69% don’t feel financially secure enough to buy a home.
Among homeowners, 31 percent say student debt is impacting their ability to sell an existing home and move up to a different home and 7 percent have problems with their credit caused by student loan debt.
The average delay in buying a home among those with student debt is five years. Those with higher amounts of student loan debt and those with lower incomes expect to be delayed longer.
Forty-two percent of the respondents were delayed in moving out of their family member’s home after college because of student debt. Forty-six percent of younger millennials currently live with family. Twenty-one percent rent with roommates. Seventy-one percent are employed full-time.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, among recent homebuyers, one-quarter have student loan debt and the typical amount is $25,000. The share of those with student loan debt rises to 41 percent among first-time homebuyers. Even among successful homebuyers, this amount of debt is cited as a difficulty in the home-buying process.

Student loan debt doesn’t only impact the housing market. Sixty-six percent of respondents said their student loan debt effected their ability to take a vacation, and 57% said it effected their ability to purchase a car.

 An experienced Real Estate Agent and Loan Officer can provide advice on how much home you can afford.

 Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.