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Spring Graduates Face November Bummer: Paying Back Student Loans

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- For new college graduates, November is a month many dread because it's the time spring grads are due to begin paying back their student loans.

At San Francisco State University, junior Jason Steckler says he's not focused yet on that future debt service.

"I'm a person who likes to focus on my school and I'll worry about the money later," he told us.

Jason's not alone.

Student loan debt in the U.S. is over $1 trillion.

Prof. Shengle Lin thinks that enormous figure explains why many millennials have delayed buying a car or house.

"This group carrying student debt is postponing their home ownership. They're going through a lot of economic difficulty -- much more than any previous generation," Lin said.

Almost half of those polled in one national survey said student loan debt is a key obstacle in buying a home.

But what can be done?

Prof. Lin suggests that -- along with lowering interest rates -- the federal government should lengthen the grace period after graduation before loan payments begin. Lin believes this would give graduates time to find a good job in a career they will stay with, instead of taking the first job they can find just to cover their loan payments.

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