Download Executive Summary (PDF: 3.62 MB) | Download Full Report (PDF: 1.3 MB) | News Release


This report builds on past findings from NAR and explores the current role of student loan debt and the relationship to homeownership.1 The findings show that student debt does hold back home buyers. While the themes are consistent based on past research, the current report expands the knowledge base by exploring the role of the current Federal Government Stimulus packages and the role the current COVID-19 pandemic has played on debt.

Some of the key findings include:

  • While the plurality say student loan debt has not impacted any of the tested employment decisions (42%), others say debt has kept them in disliked or uninteresting jobs, forced them to take second jobs, or take a job outside their preferred field.
  • Over one quarter of student loan debt holders say their debt has impacted their decision or their ability to purchase a home (29%), take a vacation (35%), or purchase a car (31%).
  • Approximately half of student loan debt holders say their debt has impacted their life choices. One third say it has impacted their ability to continue their education (33%) while 14% say it has impacted their decision to start a family.

1 Since 2013, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has collected primary research examining the effect student loan debt has on successful and potential home buyers.

The analysis from the latest research—The Impact of Student Loan Debt—is modeled off of reports conducted in 2016 and 2017 by the National Association of REALTORS® and American Student Assistance.


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