Why aren't millennials buying homes at as young an age as previous generations? A prevailing theory has been the amount of student debt they've racked up is preventing them from saving for a down payment.
Susan Dynarski, a senior fellow for The Brookings Institution, aregues that most of the research on this subject has compared only those who came out of college with debt and those who came out without debt. Those studies did not take into account those who didn't go to college at all.
Dynarksi cites a graph, "Proportion of Borrowers...," from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that shows home ownership takes a nosedive among 30-year-olds with student debt. She claims it is distorted because it does not account for education.
Instead, she points to a graph from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, "Home Ownership Rate...," that breaks down those without student loan debt who did and did not attend college.
Men with a BA earn $35,000 more a year than those without, while for women the gap is $25,000. This is because those without a college education have been getting hammered for decades. The inflation-adjusted earnings of men with no college experience have been dropping since 1979. The typical undergraduate borrower with a BA has a debt of $30,000 and owes $350 a month, or just $4,200 a year. This burden of student debt is dwarfed by the differences in earnings between those with and without a college education.