Millennials speak about opinions on student debt, marriage - WNEM TV 5

Millennials speak about opinions on student debt, marriage

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A panel of millennials said student loans were one of their top concerns.

"Right now I'm $64,000 in debt because of school," Holly Bergerding said.

Inc. Magazine said 68 percent of 2015 graduates from public and non-profit colleges had an average of $30,000 of student debt.

For Grayson Kennedy and his girlfriend, that debt is making them put off their wedding plans.

"We plan to get engaged early because we've been together for awhile, but we plan to have fun being engaged and not get married for awhile because of financial reasons," Kennedy said.

Delaying marriage is popular among this generation.

As of 2014, the Pew Research Center said the median age at first marriage was 27 for women and 29 for men. That's up from 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960.

Nearly one-third of millennials said they're not financially ready to wed. When marriage does come, that student debt can delay what traditionally comes next - buying a home and having children.

"My husband and I, we have been married for two years and the original house we live in is his bachelor pad. So we're trying to upgrade. We're also trying to start a family, but in the back of my mind my student loans are always gonna be there," Borgerding said.

NPR reports the average first time mom in 2014 was about 26. That's about a year and a half older than it was in 2000.

For home buying the difference is even more stark.

The Atlantic reports home buying has fallen to a 30 year low for 18-34 year olds. For the first time on record, that age group is more likely to live with their parents than a spouse.

As a working student, Rebecca Corbin said she couldn't be more grateful her mom helps them out more than just financially.

"It's the small little benefits you wouldn't think of, not having to go grocery shopping, not having to make dinner every night or just making it three nights a week instead of all seven nights," Corbin said. "My mom is amazing. She's taken in me and my fiance both and we do what we can to help her. But she is really helping us build, not only our individual futures but our futures together."

Despite being engaged for family reasons, Corbin has no plans of getting married. She is one of the 13 percent of never been married millennials who have no interest in marriage, compared to the 53 percent who do

Without the worry of student debt, getting a stable job and establishing a career in their 20s is of more importance to this generation than tying the knot.

"I think marriage and family will come down the road. I envision that when I'm older, but I think for right now, I think I'm in a position where I can grab a few things and run with it. And I just want to be able to do that without having to worry about something else," Robert Schultz said.

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