As it turns out, getting hitched and having kids is not a popular choice when you are saddled with $100,000 in student loans.

According to a recent survey conducted by the American Bar Association, young attorneys are putting off big life decisions like marriage, kids, and homeownership due to crushing student debts.

The ABA Young Lawyers Division conducted an online survey from March 1 to March 31, 2020, among more than 1,000 young lawyers in the early stages of their careers with a goal to quantify the impact of the educational debt on new lawyers’ career paths and life decisions.

The survey found that the median cumulative debt at law school graduation among those who completed the survey was $160,000, which is close to the national average of cumulative debt for all law school graduates of $145,500 in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

More than half of the respondents — 56% — said they put off the decision to buy a house because of their student debt, while 29% said they either decided to not get married because of debt or opted to postpone getting married. And almost half of the survey respondents — 48% — said because of their debt they are either delaying or deciding not to have kids altogether.

Young lawyers had to put on hold decisions like buying a car or going on vacation. Nearly half (46%) of respondents said they postponed or decided not to buy a car because of their debt and 33% said they got a less expensive car than they originally wanted. More than half (58%) said they postponed or decided not to take a vacation because of their debts.

“Participants said heavy student loan debt is affecting virtually every aspect of their lives,” reads the debt portion of the ABA’s 2020 Profile of the Legal Profession.

The Education Department is due to release an updated figure later this year. Among all law school graduates, 71% took out educational loans in 2016, which is down from 92% in 2008. Out of the 1,1000 ABA survey respondents, 40% said their student loan load increased notably since […]

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