Before You Move Back Home with Your Parents to Save Money and Pay Off Student Loans, Consider This

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When you graduate from college, it feels like you are finally free to start your life as an adult. You’re no longer stuck in school, and no longer at the mercy of anyone else’s rules. It can feel exhilarating and liberating to finally strike out on your own. But if you’re one of the 45 million Americans in student loan debt, you’ve likely pondered the question, “Should I move back in with my parents?”

The optimism you feel upon graduating can quickly be eclipsed by the costs of living independently. Let’s face it, being an adult doesn’t come cheap. Rent, utilities, insurance, groceries, transportation and more can add up quickly. And when you’re trying to dig yourself out of student loan debt, it can be a challenge to manage it all. Here’s what to consider if you’re thinking about moving back in with your parents to save money.

Should I move back in with my parents?

If you’re contemplating living at home after college, you’re not alone. According to a recent TD Ameritrade survey, 50% percent of millennials plan to move back in with their parents after college.

That number isn’t surprising when you consider that millennials have been moving home for years. The Pew Research Center reported that 15% of millennials between the ages of 25 to 35 lived with their parents as of 2016. Comparatively, just 10% of Gen Xers still lived with mom and dad when they were the same age. Millennials are also living at home after college for longer than other generations. According to Pew, 91% of millennials surveyed hadn’t moved in the past year.

As millennials continue to battle high unemployment and low wages, moving back in with their parents — or “boomeranging” — may seem like a good option. After all, it’s difficult to balance making rent, saving for the future and paying off student loans when they’re earning 20% less than their parents did.

There’s less stigma around moving home now as well, likely because so many young professionals are grappling with the weight of large student loan balances. In that sense, the social cost of boomeranging home is less steep.

But is it the right decision for you? Moving back in with your parents comes with emotional costs, and you may struggle with the social and lifestyle adjustments that come with living under your parents’ roof again. Certainly, those trade-offs may be worth it to get your own financial house in order. But it’s a decision only you can make, and one you’ll want to think through carefully. Here’s what you should consider if you’re thinking of moving back home after college.

Look at the situation realistically

Moving home to live with your parents in your 20s or even 30s can be tough. Once you’ve had a taste of freedom and independence, going back to the house you grew up in and living under your parents’ “house rules” can be challenging.

If you’re unemployed or underemployed, moving back home can make sense though. Even if you’re working and could technically make it on your own, it may seem like the best option for saving money.

But there are some important considerations you should think about before heading home. Consider the following:

  • What’s your relationship with your parents like? Do you get along with your parents? Will you drive each other mad in less than a month’s time?
  • What are you giving up to move back home? Everything comes at a price. Even though moving back home might make sense financially, it could mean giving up what you value most about your post-college life — autonomy, independence, freedom and personal relationships forged with roommates and peers on your own terms.
  • What are the terms and conditions of the arrangement? If your parents are cool with you moving back home, will they allow you to live rent-free or will they charge a nominal amount? Will you have a curfew? How will this move affect your personal and romantic relationships? If your parents plan to charge you rent, compare what you’ll pay them to how much you’d pay for your own place. Ask if they expect you to contribute to utility bills and groceries as well. You may find that you’re not saving as much by moving home as you expected, and that could prompt you to rethink whether it’s your best option.
  • What is your expected timeline? Moving back home can be tough at first, but then you can quickly get a little too comfortable. Mom buys groceries, cooks for you, does your laundry — maybe you don’t even pay rent. Sweet deal, huh? It can be easy to stick around and wear out your welcome, so come up with a realistic timeline for moving out. Decide on a firm plan of action, such as deciding to move back home, pay off your loans in a year and then move out.

Ultimately, it’s important to look at the situation realistically before giving up your freedom and decide if it actually makes sense for you. Will you be able to maintain a positive relationship with your family without losing your sense of self? This and all of the above are important things to consider before making the move back to your old bedroom.

Weigh the real costs and benefits of living at home after college

Beyond thinking about your family relationships and personal sacrifices, it’s also crucial that you look at all the hidden costs of moving back home. Make sure to take the following into account before making your decision:

  • Consider your employment situation — and the associated costs. If you are employed and your parents live near your place of work, you could save on both rent and commuting costs. But if your parents live a significant distance from your job, does it make sense to pay more for gas or public transportation, or find a different job so you can live rent-free?
  • If you’re unemployed, think about whether it’s easier to find a job where your parents live. You’ll also want to evaluate your job prospects in your hometown. How is the economy there? What is the job market like in your industry? Don’t assume you’ll be able to land something right off the bat unless you’ve been in touch with prospective employers or know there is a hiring boom. Moving back home to pay off debt may seem attractive, but if you can’t find a job, you won’t be able to make financial progress the way you hoped.
  • Look at the big picture. It can be tempting to move back home when you are struggling to pay rent and student loans. However, it’s important to evaluate all the factors and additional costs. If moving home means moving to another state, consider how you’ll do that. Will your parents drive out to help? Or will you need to rent a moving trailer or truck? How long will it take you to move home? And what are the differences in income tax rates where your parents live? It’s easy to overlook these expenses, but nothing is free, not even moving back to your childhood home.

While living with your parents sounds like a cost-saver on the surface, you may discover that the money you spent on the move and surviving until you find a job would have been better spent where you already are. You could put those funds toward your debts, or invest them in skill-learning courses that will help you land a better-paying position without giving up your newfound independence.

Amanda Abella, who was a boomerang kid herself and is now a millennial business coach, offers this advice: “It’s a Catch-22. Don’t live in a city where it’s cheaper but you can’t find a job, or go to a city where there are lots of jobs but you can’t even cover rent.”

For her, living at home after college made sense financially. “Even when I had a regular job, had I moved out [of my parent’s house] there was no way I would have been able to set up a retirement account, start investing and start a business,” Abella said. She admits that her entire paycheck would have gone to rent and bills, making it difficult to get ahead financially.

The bottom line

In the end, moving back home is a very personal decision. Consider not only all of the financial implications but also the emotional, social and psychological ones. How will it affect your lifestyle as a whole?

Some people find that moving back home isn’t the best choice, while others find that it makes the most economic sense. Only you can decide what is right for you. To make the decision, understand how much you will be saving, and if you do make that move, be sure the money you save is actually going towards your debts.

Most importantly, have a game plan for how and when you’ll strike out on your own once again. Moving back in with your parents can help you get on your feet while paying off debt, but this decision shouldn’t be made lightly or considered a long-term solution. Once you have built up savings and have sufficient income to pay bills and your student loans, it’s likely time to fly the coop.

Casey Hynes contributed to this report.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 8 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.20% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.89% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of December 13, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 12/13/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit, email us at, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.46% APR (with AutoPay) to 7.61% APR (without AutoPay). Variable rates currently from 2.31% APR (with AutoPay) to 7.61% (without AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.31% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.31% plus 0.75% margin minus 0.25% for AutoPay. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your credit history and the term of the loan and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

3 Important Disclosures for Figure.

Figure Disclosures

Figure’s Student Refinance Loan is a private loan. If you refinance federal loans, you forfeit certain flexible repayment options associated with those loans. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would impact your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation alternatives.

4 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

College Ave Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.

2All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.

4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 1/1/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

5 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.


There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.


For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
For eligible Associates degrees in the healthcare field (see Eligibility & Eligible Loans section below), Lender will refinance up to $50,000 in loans for non-ParentPlus refinance loans. Note, parents who are refinancing loans taken out on behalf of a child who has obtained an associates degrees in an eligible healthcare field are not subject to the $50,000 loan maximum, refer to for more information about refinancing ParentPlus loans.


Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).

Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.

All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to for applicable terms and conditions.

For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.


The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.


The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.


After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.

If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.


This information is current as of November 8, 2019 and is subject to change.

6 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers.

7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 1.76% effective November 10, 2019.

8 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 12/019/2019 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 8.59% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.49% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

1.99% – 6.89%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.31% – 7.36%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.06% – 6.81%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Figure

2.62% – 6.12%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit College Ave

2.29% – 6.65%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

1.99% – 7.06%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.85% – 6.13%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.90% – 8.59%8Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.