Why young Americans continue to put off marriage

The survey polled more than 1,000 college-educated Americans

Young Americans are vowing not to get married until their student loan debt is paid off.

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Thirty-three percent of young people aged 18 to 34 said they may put off tying the knot until their student loan debt is paid off, according to a study by LendKey Technologies.

Newlywed husband and wife walking out of church and celebrating marriage with guests throwing confetti

The survey polled more than 1,000 Americans who went to college and found that number went down to 17 percent among older participants aged between 35 and 54, and 10 percent for those 55 and up who said they’d consider postponing a marriage if their student loans weren’t paid off.

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And Gen Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, said choosing a spouse is often dependent on their partner’s credit card or student loan debt: 20 percent said they’d be okay with student loan debt, but not credit card debt, while 6 percent said the opposite, according to the survey.

The LendKey data suggests that few people looked for the best rate and terms when deciding on a student loan, with just 16 percent aged 18 to 34 saying they've "shopped around."

"For people who have not entered college or are in the midst of it, make sure you're making the appropriate choices so you don't over-borrow for a degree that's going to make it harder to pay back in the future," Christian Widhalm, chief revenue officer at LendKey told FOX Business, adding: "Know what you're going to borrow and what you're going to earn before you take out the loans."

Americans owed nearly $1.5 trillion in student loans in 2019, according to Pew Research Center. Around one-third of adults under age 30 have student loan debt with an average monthly bill of almost $400. And it's crippling financial growth for young people who are buying fewer homes than previous generations. More young people are living with their partners before marriage just to save money and pay down debts. A separate study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 1987 and 2010, the number of women between the ages of 19 and 44 who lived with a significant other before their first marriage increased by 82 percent.

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Despite the struggle to manage debt, other research says some young people are getting better about saving their money. A separate report found that 25 percent of millennials have $100,000 or more in savings, that's up from 16 percent two years ago, according to a report from Bank of America's "Better Money Habits." The bank polled 2,000 millennials aged 24 to 41 and asking how much they had stored away in their savings and checking accounts, in addition to an IRA, 401(k) and other investment accounts or retirement savings.

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