The Long List of Things Millennials Postpone due to Student Loans

Katie Taylor Updated on May 14, 2019

Can you relate to the woman in this video, who is still sitting on her dorm room couch at 26? I can. 

Until last year, nearly every piece of furniture and decor I owned was secondhand — bought at thrift stores, garage sales and Craigslist, or inherited from family members and friends.

It's not that my style and decoration aesthetic was particularly creative or even that I was hoping to minimize my environmental impact.

It's that, with student loans, bills, and rent, I couldn't afford new furniture.

Apparently, I'm one of many millennials — the generation saddled with more student loan debt but making less money overall — who has postponed buying furniture. In fact, "postpone" seems to be the operative word.

Delaying expensive purchases, life events

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loans make up about 69% of the average 25- to 30-year-old American's debt — and this has impacted millennials' chances for success in many aspects of their lives. 

One prime example is homeownership. Rather than buying homes, millennials rent and live with roommates. While part of this is related to the hike in housing prices, a recent study from ApartmentList reveals that student loans are also at fault. The study found that it takes college graduates with student loan debt four years more to put a first payment down on a home than those without debt. 

Many other life milestones are now also further out of reach for millennials. Like marriage.

In an article by MarketWatchNew York City financial coach Shannon McLay says "It's a psychological thing." Millennials don't want to marry until their debt is paid and they're finally financially secure.

And there's there the furniture. According to Fung Global Retail and Technology, millennials in the U.S. and the U.K. spend less on furniture than older generations, partly because they have lower incomes and because their chances of owning a home are lower. It comes full circle. 

Imagine Life Without a Student Loan Payment... Start Saving Now!

Refinancing can help

If you're still sitting on your futon wondering how you're going to get ahead of your student loans and have enough money to buy new furniture, consider refinancing. (See the video above for a quick primer on how it works.)

As the financial and life milestones have changed for millennials, so should our priorities, according a Yahoo! Finance articlePrioritize paying off your student loans, one expert advises. Working aggressively to pay off your debt can get you closer to the other milestones in your life. And this is where refinancing can help.

By refinancing, you can get a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment at the same time, allowing you to save money both month-to-month and in the long run.

In fact, people who refinance save an average of $253 a month and $16,183 over the life of their loan. That kind of savings can give you a chance to save for a down payment on a house, a new car, or start a retirement fund. (Or, you know, get a new couch.)

To see how much you can save by refinancing, check out our Student Loan Refinancing Calculator.  

Published in: Refinance

About the Author
Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor is a content writer and editor with expertise in law and policy, finance, and entrepreneurship. She writes for startups and small businesses about everything from bookkeeping to telecom. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post and SheKnows.com. She is continuing to pay off law school loans and lives in Richmond, Vermont with her wife, son, and an unruly dog. Read more by Katie Taylor

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Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.

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Many ELFI customers save hundreds per month month and thousands over the length of the loan term.

  • APR: 2.80% - 6.69%
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Visit ElFi View Loan Disclosure

Education Loan Finance is designed to assist borrowers through consolidating outstanding education loans into one single loan that effectively lowers your costs of education and/or makes repayment very simple. Education Loan Finance - backed by the strength of SouthEast Bank - combines the benefits of traditional education loan refinancing with the superior products, service, and support found in the private market.

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  • Get Your Rate. With Education Loan Finance's Find My Rate tool, you can complete a short application to receive a preliminary quote on your eligible rates and terms, all without affecting your credit score.
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Works with 275+ not-for-profit community lenders for higher approval chances

  • APR: 2.38% - 7.50%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
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Visit LendKey View Loan Disclosure

LendKey operates student loan programs for over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders across the country. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.

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Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender

  • APR: 2.43% - 7.02%
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Visit Laurel Road View Loan Disclosure

Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.

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  • National reach - Online lender that is available in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
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#5 View More Details

For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need

  • APR: 2.48% - 6.25%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
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Visit CommonBond View Loan Disclosure

CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.

Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.

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  • Unemployment protections - If you lose your job or decide to go back to school, you can delay your payments for up to 24 months.
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  • Referral bonus - For every friend you refer who refinances their loans with CommonBond, you’ll earn a $200 cash bonus.
  • Qualification - Borrowers must have graduated at least 2 years prior if they want to apply without a co-signer. And borrowers in 6 states – Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, and Vermont – cannot currently refinance through CommonBond.

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Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking

  • APR: 2.430% - 8.074%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
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Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.

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  • Low interest rates - For well-qualified borrowers, SoFi offers some of the lowest rates we have found.
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#7 View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • APR: 3.02% - 7.76%
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Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.

  • Low interest rates – especially for graduate students
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Comments

I reduced my student loan payment by $152 per month, by refinancing thru Nitro:

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