Student Debt Is Holding Back Millennials? Not So Fast
New research suggests student debt is indeed a barrier for a significant minority—college dropouts—but that it’s generally not holding back those who earned degrees. The key findings: The likelihood of holding a mortgage, getting married, and having children increase with age and educational attainment. And those who took out student debt and earned a degree are far more likely to have done those things than those who borrowed and dropped out. Among 25-to-30-year-olds who borrowed for college and earned a bachelor’s or higher, 38 percent held a mortgage—the highest of any other group. Among those with a bachelor’s or higher who still owed student debt, 35 percent held a mortgage—the second-highest. Those who took out student debt but never earned a degree—just 14 percent had a mortgage.