56 percent of millennials are putting their lives on hold because of student loans, according to Bankrate.com. More than half of them are delaying milestones, like buying their first home.
"I live with my parents because that's the cheapest thing, and thankfully they let me live there rent-free," said college senior Ashley Rychen. "I'll probably have to put off buying a house in the future until I pay it off."
"I reach into my savings or I have to put things off like car insurance, monthly payments," said junior James Hubbard, who is paying out-of-state tuition. "I kind of wanted to go on my own, venture out, become a man."
According to Bankrate.com, the first milestone to take a backseat to student loan debt is buying a home, followed by saving for retirement and buying a car.
"I think it's one element of a big narrative," said Dennis Hoffman with the WP Carey School of Business. He said there are other factors, like people taking longer to get stable jobs and get married.
"It's one of the factors behind the slow start to housing after the big housing blow-off," said Hoffman.
So while she understands her degree comes with some sacrifice, Ashley still hopes or a better system.
"It's so sad now. You have to have a degree to do anything and work and then you can't buy a house or think about the future of your life," Rychen said.
"It doesn't make much sense to borrow $100,000 for a career that will pay $25,000 a year," said Mike Sullivan with Take Charge America. He said some ways to minimize loans are living at home, working during the school year, or going to a community college for the first two years.
"If you're going to be making major monthly payments for the next 30 years, it is going to change your life," Sullivan said. "You're not going to be able to borrow as much for houses, cars."