Skip to main content

Medical Debt, Not Student Loan Debt, Cited as Main Obstacle to Homeownership

Phil Hall
Sep 30, 2019
While a great deal has been written about the impact of student loan debt on hampering potential homebuyers from purchasing properties

While a great deal has been written about the impact of student loan debt on hampering potential homebuyers from purchasing properties, a new report from Zillow has determined that medical debt is a more prevalent challenge that keeps people out of homeownership.
In a survey of 13,000 households, Zillow reported 38 percent of buyers and 39 percent of renters said medical debt was the reason for mortgage or rental denial. In comparison, student loan debt was cited by 24 percent of buyers and 28 percent of renters. And while carrying debt is not a game-killer in pursuing homeownership, two-thirds of buyers with any kind of debt put down less than 20 percent when they secured a mortgage, compared with 40 percent of buyers without debt.
"When we focus on low unemployment and the strong economy, we often forget that in many ways the rising costs of life can erode most of those gains," said Skylar Olsen, Zillow's Director of Economic Research. "Health care has never been more expensive. Getting a college degree, a path more likely to lead to economic success for those able to get through it, has never been more expensive. U.S. housing values and rents have never been more expensive. While incomes, both at the high and low end, are growing, the pace hasn't kept up with those crucial life expenses. That's fact and Americans are feeling it."

Inventory Begins A Slow Recovery

Inventory grew 3.9% from April to May, according to Zillow's latest Market Report, after a year of steady decline.

Industry News
Jun 16, 2021
Mortgage Lenders Expect Profit Margins To Shrink

69% of lenders believe profit margins will decrease in the months ahead, while 19% believe profits will remain the same, and 11% believe profits will increase.

Industry News
Jun 14, 2021
Real Estate Industry Calls To End Eviction Moratorium On June 30, 2021

Expanding the moratorium will only increase levels of debt on renter households and impede the recovery of the housing sector.

Industry News
Jun 14, 2021
Fifth Third Bank Expands Down Payment Assistance Program

The program will provide up to $3,600 towards a down payment for families with low to moderate income.

Industry News
Jun 09, 2021
Filo Mortgage Launches Low-Rate Guarantee

National mortgage lender Filo Mortgage is offering to beat competitors' pricing by $1,000 with its Low-Rate Guarantee.

Industry News
Jun 08, 2021
FAU Index Shows Where Consumers Should Buy Or Rent

Consumers are better off renting in cities like Dallas, Texas

Industry News
Jun 07, 2021