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Millennials are so buried in debt they can’t buy into American Dream of owning a home

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Written by Christopher Cox

(As Reported In USA TODAY)

Amanda Hill, 27, deals with big student loan debt by doing everything she can to keep her other bills small.

“I have cut out all the things that aren’t absolutely necessary,” Hill said.

She eats out maybe once a month. She limits her driving to control how much she spends on gas. She lives in an apartment.

She avoids getting her nails done or shopping. She buys clothes about two times a year.

Hill – who is juggling $90,000 in student loan debt after graduating in 2015 from Hampton University in Virginia – figured she didn’t need a car payment on top of her monthly student loan payments.

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So she bought a 2005 Saturn Ion last year from a woman at her church.

She paid $500 for her car.

“And I was surprised it actually worked,” she said. “But I had to learn how to drive a stick shift.”

Dreaming of buying a new car when you get that first job out of college? Or maybe buying your first house? It used to be a rite of passage. Not so much anymore.

“It’s not going to be you’re 30 and you’re married and you’re going to have kids,” said Hill.

She has no timetable for when she’d like to buy a house or make other big purchases. She still hopes to go to graduate school but has delayed that until she has a better handle on her college debt for her bachelor of arts degree.

Right now, she said, it’s more about trying to stay afloat.

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About $1.46 trillion in student loan debt has many millennials, as well as others, hiding their wallets and putting big ticket commitments on the back burner.

Plain and simple, many young consumers just aren’t ready to consume. And many sure don’t want to shop until they drop like their parents.

“This is really a pervasive trend and it will not be reversed any time soon,” said Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers…

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About the author

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Christopher Cox

Christopher G. Cox has over 20 years of experience in the real estate and finance industries. He has understands the complexities and diversity of the real estate market, and he has a passion of helping people realize the American Dream.