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Student borrowers have delayed life events due to debt: Poll

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(The Hill) — Most student loan borrowers say they have delayed major life events due to their debt, according to a recent study.

The Lumina Foundation-Gallup 2024 State of Higher Education study, released Wednesday, found 71% of borrowers said they needed to delay at least one major life event because of their student loans.

Survey respondents were most likely to list buying a home, buying a car and moving out of their parents’ home as life events that were placed on hold.

Just under 30% said they were delayed in buying a home, 28% said they were delayed in buying a car and 22% said they were delayed in moving out, per the poll. Roughly 20% said they needed to put off starting their own business, 15% said they waited to have children and 13% delayed getting married.


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Gallup noted that delay rates of these major life events were similar across demographic groups. Men were more likely that women to say loans delayed them, with 76% of men saying so compared to 64% of women.

The study also found that even those with smaller student loans were delayed in starting major life events. Around 63% of those with less than $10,000 in student loans said they have delayed major life events.

Nearly all respondents with more than $60,000 in student loans said they put off major purchases and events. Ninety-eight percent of respondents who had between $60,000 and $74,999 or more than $75,000 in student loan debt said they delayed their major life events, according to the survey.

The study comes as President Joe Biden continues his effort to alleviate student loan debt. The Biden administration has already given out $153 billion in student debt relief, largely going to those on income-based repayment plans, borrowers with disabilities and people defrauded by their schools.

The Lumina-Gallup study was conducted last year from Oct. 9 to Nov. 16 through a web survey among 14,032 current and prospective college students ages 18-59.

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