NJ #1 in Millennials Living Home with Mommy and Daddy. Why?
A recent report showed that out of all 50 states, 47% of adults 18-34 still live with either both or one of their parents in New Jersey. This puts New Jersey at #1 with Connecticut at #2. This is most definitely feeding into that Millennial stereotype. However, with Connecticut coming in 2nd and North Dakota coming in last, there is a pattern. New Jersey has one of the highest costs of living in the country so it is no surprise that more adults live at home.
I know that this article is going to sound like I am being a whiny Millennial that doesn't want to take responsibility. No matter how this article is written, there will be a plethora of comments telling me that I am wrong. However, to defend myself and all other Millennials I am going to be using number and stats. This is why Millennials still live with mommy and daddy.
Let's start with one of the major issues facing Millennials, causing many to live at home which of course is student loans. Many students graduate with an average of $37,172 in loans as of 2016, according to Forbes. I am going to be using my personal student loan situation as an example.
I graduated from Montclair State University in 2013 with a B.A. in Broadcasting. I went to Montclair for only two years, going to a community college for my associates to lower the costs. I was fortunate that for the two years at the community college I had scholarships, grants, and my parents covered the remaining costs. During the two years at Montclair I took out $30,442 in student loans. I paid for my books out of pocket purchasing them online to get them at a cheaper cost, I also did not have a meal plan. I did receive grant money for the two years.
I had to take out different loans throughout my time. My junior year in college I only had to rely on the federal student loans, which have a lower interest rate. I had four loans from the federal government over the two years, two were for $2,000 with a 6.55% interest rate and the other two were for $5,500 with a 3.15% interest rate. I later consolidated the four into two loans with interest rates of 4.25%. I still owe $10,654.72 to the government for these loans.
My senior year in college I had to take out loans through Sallie Mae to subsidize. I had three loans with the private student loan company. Fortunately, these will be paid off by March of 2019. The three loans were: $4,000 with a whopping 11.5% interest rate, $8,942 with an 11.5% interest rate, and the final loan was for $2,500 with a cool 11.378% interest rate.
There are no caps for student loan interest rates. Unfortunately, companies can take advantage of the lack of credit college students have to create high interest rates. I took out fixed loans, so my interest rate did not fluctuate with my income. However, while my interest rates did not change Sallie Mae can change your monthly payment whenever they want. My monthly payment increased almost $100 without warning a few years ago. When I approached Sallie Mae about this, they responded with the explanation that they can do this when they want.
Before consolidation my monthly payments for my student loans where $550, currently they are $470.
The average one bedroom apartment in New Jersey costs $1,366, which is $365 more than the national average. The value of the dollar in New Jersey is only .88 cents. The average car insurance for the country is at $889.01, however in New Jersey that average is $1,265 according to QuoteWizard.com.
So, when you look at a Millennial who lives at home and think to yourself that when you were their age you lived on your own, look at the numbers. Yes, people make more money now than they did then. However, the gap between average salaries and cost of living is greater.