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By Allison Videtti
When I was a kid, I assumed life followed a pretty standard path: You graduate high school, go to college, get a job, get married and buy a house — in that order. Of course, that was before the Great Recession, which forced many college grads back to mom and dad’s house, and before I understood the impact that student loan debt can have on a person’s future.
Fast-forward to (very) post-college, and I have a much clearer picture of how things go for the modern-day Millennial. If you’re like nearly 70 percent of college grads circa 2014, you have an average of $30,000 in student loan debt, and that debt is probably causing you to postpone those major life milestones you thought you’d have reached by now.
According to a 2015 Bankrate survey, 45 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 who have student loans have put off a major life event because of their debt. That includes things like buying a house, saving for retirement, even buying a car — all because they’re worried they can’t afford it.
How student loans impact life after college
Having student loans may mean making some sacrifices, but it’s still likely worth it in the long run. Over the course of his or her working life, a college grad will make $830,800 more than a high school graduate, according to the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco — well worth the roughly $30,000 of debt and a few years of living with a roommate and driving a used car.
Allison Videtti is a social media/digital marketing specialist at Alliant. In her previous life, she worked in real estate and held multiple positions at a Chicago-based digital marketing agency, overseeing content strategy for a number of financial services clients. Allison's always been a saver and is something of a personal finance junkie. She loves reviewing her spending and updating her budget, and can't get enough of finance-related blogs and podcasts. Her favorites? Wisebread.com and the Planet Money podcast.