U.S. millennials have more than $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. In New Jersey, total student loan debt hovers around $30.8 billion, which is just shy of the amount that’s needed to run the state of New Jersey in 2015… The skyrocketing cost of education and the Great Recession forced many students to finance their education with loans. Officials say as they graduate into the real world with significant debt and, in many cases take low paying jobs they’re overqualified for, economic activity isn’t as significant as it’s been when past generations were coming into adulthood…"There are a whole lot of people out there living postponed lives," said Barbara O’Neill, a personal finance professor at Rutgers University New Brunswick. "It’s got a dampening effect for people of all ages- not just the young people themselves. It ripples."… Debt prevents millennials from forming households, which means they’re not renting apartments or buying homes. With 80 million nationwide, they could be boosting the economy, O’Neill said. But they’re not — and it’s because of their debt.
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