How bad is the student loan crisis in the U.S.? Very bad indeed, according to a new survey released Thursday by the American Institute of CPAs.
Eighty-one percent of adults with student loans reported that their loans had forced them to make personal or financial sacrifices.
Fifty percent had delayed contributions to retirement accounts, up from 41% in 2013, and 46% said they had taken a second job, their moonlighting necessary to make monthly loan payments, up from 31% in 2013.
Nearly half had delayed buying or upgrading a car.
Harris Poll conducted a telephone survey of 1,005 U.S. adults in March on behalf of the AICPA.
“Recent graduates can face sticker shock when they get their initial student loan bill in the mail,” Gregory Anton, chairman of the AICPA’s national CPA financial literacy commission, said in a statement.
“For many, it’s their first realization that making the monthly payments will require financial and lifestyle sacrifices.”
For 40% of those surveyed, this meant living with roommates rather than alone. Another 40% said they had delayed buying a home, and 37% had moved in with family members.
Not only that, 20% of those with student loans to pay off said they had put off marriage, and 19% had delayed having children.