Debt is a significant concern for millennials, and their worries may be so great that they are reluctant to buy a home.
Nearly half of the millennials surveyed in January by Rocket Mortgage said they had delayed their decision to purchase a home due to fear of falling into debt. They also reported wanting to save more money for a down payment and being concerned by high costs of housing.
Millennial respondents said they would much rather delay purchasing a home if it meant having to take out a loan, the Rocket Mortgage survey found.
The generation is entering the housing market at a time of soaring home prices, low housing inventories, high inflation, and heavy competition for what homes are available.
Further, the age group has shown itself as more debt-averse than older generations, Fortune reports. For example, credit card debt among millennials is much lower than older age groups (averaging $4,300 for millennials compared to $7,155 for Gen Xers and $6,043 for baby boomers), according to a 2021 study by Experian.
Their debt aversion may stem from having heavier student loan debt than previous generations. They may feel like they already have enough debt and are scared to take on any more. Nearly 15 million millennials have at least some student loans yet to repay. The average borrower was nearly $40,000 in debt, which is higher than previous generations, according to EducationData.
Indeed, student debt has long been blamed for preventing many home sales. Half of the potential home buyers surveyed in 2021 say they haven’t bought yet because of student debt, according to a report by the National Association of REALTORS® and Morning Consult. Millennials were the most likely to point to student debt for delaying homeownership.