• Zillow goes against popular opinion, but points out debt does delay ownership at least a little bit.
  • Debt delaying homeownership means recent graduates won't likely purchase a home until their mid-30s.
  • The more advanced someone’s degree, the greater the odds of homeownership -- even if significant debt has been taken on.

Straying from popular opinion, a recent Zillow report finds student loan debt doesn’t lessen graduates’ chances of owning a home, but it can delay homeownership.

Zillow found that the more advanced someone’s degree, the greater odds they will own a home — even if significant debt has been taken on.

A married couple with one person holding a master’s degree and $50,000 in student loans has a 75 percent chance of homeownership. A similar household with a bachelor’s degree and $10,000 in loans has a 69 percent chance of homeownership.

Student Loans and Homeownership (PRNewsFoto/Zillow)

Student Loans and Homeownership (PRNewsFoto/Zillow)

“The income advantage of getting a degree pays off in terms of being able to buy a home in the long run,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Student debt doesn’t deter them from homeownership, although it is possible that student debt could delay homeownership.”

These loans have the greatest impact on the homeownership rate of people with two-year associate’s degrees.

Couples with an associate’s degree and no student debt have a 70 percent chance of owning a home. An associate’s degree and $50,000 in debt puts your chances of owning a home at 57 percent.

Other findings from the report include:

  • Getting an associate’s degree improves chances of homeownership until a person has borrowed $70,000. After that, chances of homeownership would have been better without a degree and no debt.
  • People who have student debt, but no degree, are the least likely to own. A couple that borrowed more than $30,000 for school but never graduated has a less than 40 percent chance of homeownership.

Email Erik Pisor.

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