Student Loan Debt: Putting Life on Hold

Published on Author Kelsey Radcliffe

The impact of student loan debt on our generation’s lifestyle is staggering. Not only are millennials delaying marriage as well as starting families, but they’re also less likely to start businesses or continue their education, buy homes and cars, and save for retirement.

Continuing education and career growth
According to the 2015 Gallup-Purdue Index Report, 40% of graduates with $25,000 of debt or less indicated that their student loans have kept them from going back to school for more training or another degree. That figure jumps to 56% among those who have more than $25,000 of student loan debt.

Many recent graduates tend to take the first job that is offered or stay in a job they don’t enjoy in order to pay their student loans. A survey by American Student Assistance (ASA) of college graduates shows that student debt has a considerable impact on the career choices of many grads.

  • 34% of those with student loans took a job outside of their field to pay their loans
  • Student loans caused 34% of those surveyed to take jobs they weren’t interested in over lower paying jobs they were interested
  • 46% said they stayed in jobs they were unhappy with longer than they wanted to in order to pay their loans
  • 52% said their need to pay student loans impacted their ability to advance their career
  • 58% said their debt kept them from furthering their education.

Student debt can also hold back those wanting to start their own business. This is especially true with graduates with more than $25,000 in student loans.  In comparison, only 12% of those with less than $25,000 in debt delayed starting a business according to The Gallup-Purdue Index Report. Those figures skyrocket as older borrowers are surveyed – the majority (54%) of those polled were between the ages of 25 and 30 — 47% say their student loans have kept them from starting a business.

Major purchases and life decisions
As saving money becomes more difficult for those with student loans, some millennials find themselves unable to purchase a car or home. According to the ASA, 63% said that their student loans impacted their ability to purchase a car. When it comes to buying a home, that figure jumps to 75%. Luxuries like vacation are also out of reach for 69% of borrowers surveyed.

The ASA reported that a massive 73% of those with student loans have put off saving for retirement and other investments.

(Psst — read our post about saving for retirement while paying your student loans here)

Along with the inability to make major purchases and save money, student loan debt has a sizeable impact on life decisions like marriage and having children. The ASA reported that 29% of those surveyed have put off marriage because of their student loans, while 43% say they’ve put off having children.

The takeaway
While eliminating student debt won’t happen overnight, refinancing is a great first step. A lower interest rate and/or smaller monthly payment means more money in your bank account to save toward those big purchases and life plans. Our goal is to help you get out of debt faster. Use our find my rate tool so see how much money you can save!

What have you delayed because of your student loan debt? Tweet us @Purefy or tag us on Facebook to continue the conversation.

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