With Rising Student Loan Debt, Young Adults Delay Marriage

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November 18, 2016

Tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt not only dissuades Millennials from buying a house. It keeps them from getting married.

MarketWatch reports that many young adults are pushing back marriage until their student loans are repaid. While getting married is essentially free (big wedding party aside), young adults want to achieve stability before committing to something permanent.

Today’s economic realities for young adults — high levels of debt, relatively stagnant wages — have combined with the increasing acceptance of cohabitation and the social notion that marriage requires financial stability to push up the age of first marriage, experts agree. In the 1950s, women were about 20 and men were about 22 when they married for the first time. These days, those ages have shot up to 27 and 29 respectively. “The rising age of marriage is a response to the normalization of debt,” said Stephanie Coontz, a historian and expert on the history of marriage.

Debt-ridden couples that do tie the knot, however, can work together to repay their loans faster than they would on their own.

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