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How Is Debt Impacting Owning a Home?

A recent survey by Freedom Debt Relief concluded that 28% of Americans said the biggest barrier to buying a home in 2019 is the cost of a down payment.

Additional barriers reported by those surveyed include a lack of savings (27%), the cost of a monthly payment (26%), and the amount of debt they had (19%).

The generational gap is also evident in the survey, as 43% of respondents who are Gen Z (age 18-21) consider the lack of overall savings to be the biggest barrier. Thirty-six percent said the monthly payment was the biggest barrier and 35% said it was the down payment.

While it is being reported millennials (age 22-37) are becoming more focused on homeownership, 39% said the cost of the down payment was the biggest barrier.

A recent survey from SunTrust found that nearly half of millennials (48%) who have been married said they, and/or their spouse, owned a home before marriage.

"People are choosing from many different paths and reaching common life milestones at a wider age span than before, changing when they decide to purchase a home," said Sherry Graziano, Mortgage Transformation Officer at SunTrust.

The Freedom Debt Relief survey also found the different generations carry different types of debt with them. Student loan debt was the biggest form of debt for Gen Z respondents at 32%. Millennials were more diverse, with 47% carrying credit card debt and 35% with student loan debt.

Nearly 55% of Gen X (age 38-53) respondents said they were carrying credit card debt and 40% said they had mortgage debt.

The Silent Generation (age 73 and older) had the most respondents who are carrying no debt at 45%, which is followed by Gen Z at 39%. Just 16% of millennials say they are carrying no debt, and that number falls to 13% for Gen X responders.

All generations agreed that the biggest barrier to increase savings is everyday expenses, as more than 30% of each generation came to that conclusion in the survey.

About Author: Mike Albanese

Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.
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