As more parents dealt with unemployment and declining home values during the financial crisis, they shifted a bigger portion of the student-loan debt burden to their children, says Rohit Chopra, student-loan ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Currently, two-thirds of student loans are held by people younger than 40, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports. Economists say such a debt shift will affect the housing market as more young people struggling with student loans choose to rent instead of own a home.

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