3. Homeownership Held Off for Student Debt – At age 23, it’s clear that buyers without a college degree have the upper hand, or at least the confidence to enter into the homebuying market. That soon changes, however, as debt-free college grads start entering the market in droves around age 23 while college grads saddled with debt usually hold off until later into their 20s. In the long run, homeownership rates for college grads eventually outpace non-graduates. But the deferment in their early 20s is likely a result, perhaps directly, of the weighty burden significant student debt imposes.