"Everything from saving for a home to saving for retirement is completely off the table," Abrams said.
Student debt isn't the only reason young people are putting off marriage, of course. Women are putting significantly more time into earning advanced degrees. And jobs for less-educated Americans have withered, causing a longer search for a career that can provide a middle-class lifestyle.
While there is no specific data on student debt-related delays to marriage, a recent study by the Pew Research Center shows that a record number of Americans have never married. The study found the median age at first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men. In 1960, the median age was 20 for women and 23 for men.
Student loan experts say indebtedness is weighing heavily in the young adults' decisions to get married, buy homes, and save for retirement, however.
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Heather Jarvis, an attorney in Wilmington, N.C., who specializes in student loans and student loan education, said she considered her student debt when getting married and merging finances with her husband.
"Getting married actually reduced the loan payment assistance benefits from my law school. My debt became more squarely on my shoulders upon marriage," said Jarvis.
According to the Internal Revenue Service student loan interest deduction regulations, graduates may not claim tax deductions on their qualified student loans if they are married and file separately from their spouse. If a married couple chooses to file jointly for a student loan interest deduction, they cannot be claimed as dependents on someone else's tax return.
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Debt burdens "do limit students and graduates' choices, influencing their timing," she said.
Jarvis, who graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1998 with $125,000 in student debt, just recently finished repaying her private loans. She now has to pay off her federal loan debt from law school, which is about $30,000 – just above the current national average for undergraduate borrowers.