Student loan debt has forced many younger Americans to hold off on other major financial decisions, a new study finds. But despite the challenges, the vast majority said the debt would not have stopped them from pursuing higher education in hindsight. Millions of Americans are burdened with student loans. It has ballooned in the past two decades with Americans holding more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt, including more than 43 million Americans with $1.6 trillion in federal student loans. It's the second largest form of debt in the United States behind home mortgages. According to a report released Wednesday by, 74% of Gen Z borrowers and 68% of millennials who took on student loan debt for their higher education delayed a major financial decision as a result of their debt. That's higher than it has been for older generations: About 54% of Gen X and 42% of baby boomer borrowers said they have delayed a major financial decision due to their student loan debt. Among those who put off major financial decisions, 27% overall said they delayed saving for emergencies, 26% said they put off saving for retirement, 24% delayed paying off other debt and 23% put off buying a house. "Savings is the biggest casualty of servicing student loan debt, as saving for emergencies and saving for retirement top the list of financial decisions most often delayed as a result of student loan debt," said chief financial analyst Greg McBride. While the financial decisions for those who delayed due to student loan debt were spread across age groups, 23% of Gen Z and 19% of millennials said they put off having children due to student loan debt compared to 9% of Gen X and 2% of baby boomers. At the same time, 18% of Gen Z and 15% of millennials said they delayed marriage, compared to 6% of Generation X and 2% of baby boomers. Despite the burdens, 59% of those who graduated with student loa . . . read the full article here.