Millennials blame high rent, student debt for mooching off parents

Feelings of entitlement among millennials may be leading them to take advantage of their parents’ generosity.

A study by Zillow, released earlier this year, revealed that nearly 22 percent of Americans between the ages of 23 and 37 lived at home. This accounted for more than 14 million young adults across the country.

FOX Business’ Kristina Partsinevelos spoke with some young people about their thoughts on living with their parents.

When asked about their generation’s tendency to live at home, Millennials largely cited high living costs, coupled with looming student debt. One Millennial said, “it’s a little difficult to say, you know, I’m dozens of thousands of dollars in debt; let me go pay $3,000 a month in rent.”

The national rent index is up 1.5% over the past year, according to Apartment List. An earlier study conducted suggested between 2000 and 2010, when real rental costs increased by 12%, real incomes actually decreased by 7%. Furthermore, between 2000 and 2014, the percentage of renters spending more than 30% of their income on rent increased from 38.1% to 49.3%.

Along with rising rental costs, Millennials also face ballooning student loan debt. In the first quarter of 2019, the average millennial borrower owed $34,504 in student debt, according to Experian.

What’s more, a study from Northwestern Mutual found millennials acquired an average $28,000 in credit card debt.


When Partsinevelos asked a woman how she feels about the younger generations staying at home a lot longer, she expressed feeling guilty, "because I do that,” but she added: “if my parents asked me to pay rent, I’d be outraged.”

In contrast to this position, another Millennial believes that it’s the parent’s right to decide whether allowing their adult child to live at home is something that they want to do, but if the parent says, "you’ve got to pay up or get out," that’s also their right.

Zillow’s study also suggests that more young adults live at home in places where housing — particularly rents — tend to be less affordable. This would appear to lend credence to the argument that the choice to live at home is driven, in large part, by exogenous variables such as living costs.