Since the housing market crash in 2007 and the Great Recession the year after, the two facets of the economy have been seen as symbiotic. Mainly, buying power to reach homeownership is diminished when employment prospects are low, but obtaining a job is far more difficult when history of foreclosure or short sale is on your credit report. However, these two aspects of the economy don’t exist in a vacuum, and a third force added to the mix is the student loan housing bubble.
For those not aware, the United States has close to $1 trillion of student loan debt – an amount, in fact, greater than the total of outstanding credit card debt. CNBC points out that 40 percent of 25 year olds are borrowers, with an average $25,000 loan balance, but 6.7 million of all student borrowers are at least three months delinquent.
Paying off $25,000 (or over $100,000 in some cases) significantly decreases the buying power of the older millennials, who are now approaching 30. On the other hand, it’s not simply setting aside funds to pay off student loans that’s the sole issue – credit, crucial in a time of tighter lending standards, is additionally damaged. Because of their high outstanding balances (not to mention eventual debt-to-income ratio), twentysomethings essentially are shut out from getting qualified for mortgages. In fact, CNBC indicates, just four percent of 25 to 30 year olds were qualified for mortgages in 2012.
What’s stranger is, higher levels of education, once considered a ticket or at least a quicker path to a higher-paying, more prestigious job, translate into equally-large amounts of debt. Even those who achieve impressive careers are still paying off student loans roughly the same amount as a mortgage, as a result.
CNBC, however, doesn’t touch on the pervasive effects of the student loan bubble, which have further ramifications on the housing market. Many of these loans are backed by the government, and while tuition continues to increase at state and private schools across the countries, job opportunities for those with a bachelor’s degree but no or not enough experience have dwindled.