Recent graduates who are saddled with student debt and want to get on the property ladder will have to earn roughly one-third more annually (or $8,969 more, on average) than those who are debt-free, according to new research from real-estate website RealtyTrac.
To reach that figure, RealtyTrac took the median home price for each state and county, and calculated the minimum amount of income that would be needed to qualify for a loan to buy a house at that price. (RealtyTrac assumed a 20% down payment and a 4.13% 30-year fixed loan with a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43%, which is the maximum ratio for a “qualified mortgage” under Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules).
“To overcome the additional debt from student loans, indebted college graduates need to make more income than college graduates without student loans to be able to afford a home,” says Daren Blomquist, vice-president at RealtyTrac.
Of course, this also depends on where the student lives. “The average student loan debt varies from state to state and, somewhat counterintuitively, some of the most expensive states for housing also have the lowest average student loan debt,” Blomquist explains. California has one of the lowest levels of student loan debt, for example, but also some of the highest house prices in the country.