"You load 16 tons and what do you get?
Another 3 months older, and deeper in debt."
-- with apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford

The trend continues. American households' debt balances have been increasing for 19 quarters, as of Q1 2019, to about $14 trillion.

Housing affordability is constrained by the high level of non-housing debt (student loans, car loans, and credit card balances). The National Association of Realtors say that the median age of a home buyer in the USA has risen to a record of 46. NAR has been keeping records since 1981.

We probably all know of millennials who have moved back in to mom-and-dad's and/or delayed family formation. In my opinion, for a young adult with a negative net worth, these are lifestyle decisions that can help move their negative net worth in the direction of a positive number.

I see student loan debt is a huge factor in the rising non-housing debt. So, I would say higher education is better saved for (like with 529 college savings plans) than borrowed for. There are 2.2 million borrowers with student loan balances greater than $100,000.