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The Student Debt Effect on Millennials - 4/26/16

There is a conventional wisdom that suggests that student debt has resulted in delayed economic maturation among millennials.  These young people are so overburdened with debt, they lack the wherewithal to form households, purchase homes, and otherwise engage economic life. 

New research from Navient Corporation, which services federal and private student loans, paints a far more complicated picture.  Navient teamed with private research firm Ipsos to survey more than three thousand people between the ages of 22 and 35. 

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, this research indicates that while student debt is indeed burdensome to college dropouts, it’s generally not holding back those that successfully earned their degrees. 

For instance, among those with a bachelor’s degree or higher who still owe student debt, fully thirty five percent held a mortgage.  However, among those who took out student debt but failed to earn their degree, only fourteen percent had a mortgage. 

The same pattern persists with respect to marriage.  Fifty five percent of those who graduated and still have student debt are married, compared to thirty three percent among dropouts.  

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.