The Cost of Student Loan Debt, Part I

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The science behind these stories…

The estimated $1.2 trillion in student loan debt held by over 37 million Americans amounts to a multi-decade debt sentence with a significant ripple effect on the economy, specifically lower rates of home ownership and new automobile purchasing, according to new, national research conducted by One Wisconsin Institute.

Rates of home ownership were 36% lower among individuals still paying on student loans versus those who have already paid off a loan across all income levels;

For individuals reporting solid middle class incomes of $50,000 to $75,000, those still paying off their student loans report home ownership rates 28% lower than those in the same income range who have already paid off their loans. In the $75,000 to $100,000 income range loan payers home ownership rates were 25% lower than non-payers;

Across all income levels, individuals who have paid off their student loan are more likely to have purchased a new versus used vehicle in the last 10 years;

For those currently repaying a student loan, over 63% purchased a used vehicle instead of a new vehicle;

In a household with a family member repaying a student loan the last vehicle purchased was used for over 71%, versus new for just over 28%;

The survey data suggests an aggregate impact of $6.4 billion in reduced new vehicle sales annually.

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