Banking Law

Home ownership becomes more elusive for those with student debt


In a reversal of past trends, Americans who borrowed money to finance their education are less likely to have mortgages at age 30 than their student-debt-free counterparts.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued the statistics on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The percentage who, at age 30, owed money on a mortgage, currently or in the past, was 24 percent for those who never borrowed money for school, and 22 percent for those with student debt. The data is from late last year.

Age 30 is the median age for first-time home buyers. Those in this age group were also less likely to have a car loan if they had student debt.

The story calls the results “a significant turnabout” from recent history. “For most of the past decade,” the article says, “student borrowers were much more likely to own a home or car, relative to those without student loans, because they typically were college graduates with higher incomes.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Nearly half of 2011 law grads can’t afford a house, law prof concludes”

ABAJournal.com: “Ditch the bar exam? Bar report on ‘crushing burden’ of student debt says idea should be considered”

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