The burden of student loan debt is preventing potential home buyers from starting households, which in turn is hindering overall economic growth, according to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray in remarks made on Tuesday. Cordray said the country is feeling the domino effect of student loan debt, which often takes many years to repay and may "prevent people from achieving other financial milestones," such as buying a home. Heavy student debt is preventing the formation of new households, which is a key driver of economic growth.
Tools are available now to assist consumers with managing their student loan debt, Cordray said. CFPB has partnered with the Department of Education to develop a set of online tools known as Paying for College, which helps better educate students and their families as to what their financing options are when deciding how to cover educational costs. CFPB also offers answers to common questions it is asked regarding consumer finances, including student loans, in a feature known as Ask CFPB. Notably, CFPB now handles individual consumer complaints regarding student loans.
American consumers' enthusiasm for the housing market rose over the summer from the year's start, but expectations for future market performance have become more subdued, according to survey results released by Zillow. The company's latest Housing Confidence Index, released on Tuesday, rose to 64.2 in its latest reading, up from 63.7 in January. Two of the three component sub-indices improved through the summer; however, the gauge of expected future changes in home values and affordability fell slightly, decreasing to 66.1—in line with the company's forecast of home value growth decreasing over the next year. The index ranges on a 100-point scale, with readings above 50 indicating overall positive sentiment.