For Many Older Millennials, Student Loan Debt Delayed Buying Homes, Starting Families and Pursuing Creative Careers

by Adam Felts

AgeLab Research Scientist Julie Miller provides her thoughts for a CNBC article on the impact of student loans on the Millennial generation:

Historically, hitting 40 is a time that can be marked by a sense of scarcity, even without the burden of student loan debt, says Julie Miller, a research scientist at the MIT AgeLab. “At midlife, at least historically, that’s where many people are financially squeezed between saving for their futures and saving for their children,” she says.

Adding student debt to an already expensive time can “put people in very precarious situations,” Miller adds. That could mean lower lifetime savings rates for retirement and less opportunity to build wealth.

That can carry over to relationships, Miller adds, saying that may be one more reason why millennial marriage rates are lower. “There are really huge implications for how loans and relationships come together,” she says. If one partner has student loan debt, there are conversations and decisions that need to be made about how to treat that debt, she says.

But student loans may also offer some positive outcomes as well, such as increased financial literacy. “Older millennials are kind of pioneers in figuring out how to navigate, largely without the help of parents, how to build up their own financial savvy,” Miller says.

Read the full story here.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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