Recently, a U.S. Census report confirmed something many millennials like me know all too well: As of 2015, one-third of 18- to 34-year-olds still lived at home—beating out all other living arrangements, including cohabitating with a partner or living alone, for the first time.
Older generations like to attribute this to laziness or entitlement, saying we lack ambition or are coddled by our parents—but that’s a clouded argument. There are some lazy kids in every generation, but a third of us? Sorry, but no.
As a millennial who’s in this category, I’m setting the record straight on the real reasons we’re still living at home.
We’re shouldering serious student loans.
Borrowers who graduated in 2016 owed more than $37,000 in student loans—and that’s just the average. I graduated with more than $60,000 in student debt, which translated into monthly payments of $611. Plus, because more than half my loans were taken out before or during the recession (before interest rates came down), I’m paying interest rates as high as 8%—on federal loans. That’s a huge burden when you’re just starting out.