83% of millennials want student loans forgiven, poll finds

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much news lately about the Biden administration’s plans to massively cancel federal student loans — though it has taken specific action for those who have been, for example, defrauded by for-profit colleges. As borrowers wait to hear whether or not Biden will take major action on student loans, one thing is clear: Many millennials want to see more student loans forgiven, at least according to a new poll.

Rocket Mortgage wanted to understand how student loan forgiveness might impact millennials looking to buy a home. To learn more about the subject, the company surveyed 2,065 people who have student loans or have had them in the past and who are between the ages of 26 and 41.

The survey was conducted in April 2022, and while it found that student loan debt won’t specifically prevent millennials from buying a home, overall debt plays a key role in how the generation of the millennial enters the internal market.

Here’s what the Rocket Mortgage survey found:

  • 83.11% of millennial borrowers want student loans forgiven
  • $40,000-$60,000 is the median amount millennials have borrowed in student loans
  • 69.9% of millennial borrowers who hoped to buy their first home in 4-9 years believed they should be able to buy their home in 1-3 years if their student loans were forgiven
  • 34.9% of millennials who had student loans did not have the opportunity to own a home

One of the most interesting findings Rocket Mortgage has found through its survey is how the COVID-19 pandemic has set back millennial home plans. Of the 1,252 millennial borrowers who own a home, 49.3% bought their home between 2014 and 2019, when the housing market was very different than it is today.

As Rocket Mortgage points out, “During this period, homebuyers had access to a surplus of available homes, down payment assistance programs, and lower interest rates, while low prices homes and falling unemployment rates have made many borrowers feel financially secure enough to buy a home.”

Essentially, there was a short period of time when millennials could afford a home, and that window closed. Compared to millennials who bought a home between 2014 and 2019, far fewer millennials bought their homes from 2020 to 2022. In fact, there was a ten-point drop in sales to millennials during the pandemic hot market. . As Rocket Mortgage points out, this decline is likely “due to a combination of lending uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as increased competition and home prices during this period.”

However, there was another interesting note that the poll showed. For millennials who bought their homes between 2020 and 2022, during the height of the pandemic, student debt factored into home affordability. During this period, student loan repayments were halted and 63% of home purchases were made by millennials who had student loans.

This percentage is up from 59.2% between 2017 and 2019, “which could indicate that the increase in millennial homeownership is due to the current pause in student loan repayments”, says Rocket Mortgage.

Julio V. Miller