Nowadays so many recent grads move back in with Mom and Dad after college that the trend has a catchy name: the Boomerang Generation.
Some grads move back into their childhood bedrooms to pay down student loan debt more quickly, while others do it while they search for a job or save money for grad school, a house purchase, or other goals. Often, it’s a combination of all these factors.
Whatever the reason, going from independent living back to your childhood bedroom and your parents’ rules isn’t easy. We talked to several grads who’ve successfully navigated this transition to get their insights from the trenches.
Value your time with family
After burning through her savings in New York City, Kelly swallowed her pride and moved back in with her parents in Texas several years ago. “I invested a lot in college trying to build up a prestigious resume, only to fall hard once I hit the real world,” she says.
Initially, Kelly felt like a failure, but eventually she saw the silver lining. “It was embarrassing to be living at home again, but once I set that aside, I could reframe the situation and think about the positives,” she says. “For me it was I got to spend more time with family.”
Now that she’s moved away and has less time to visit, Kelly treasures the months-long stint she had with her parents.
Contribute to the household
Although none of the Boomerang Generation we spoke to paid rent to their parents, some parents do charge rent to their working young adults so they don’t take the arrangement for granted.
Even if you’re not paying for rent or utilities so you can pay off debt, make sure you’re contributing in other ways. Kirstin initially felt guilty about moving home after graduating from UCSB, so she volunteered to cook dinner for the three of them.
“I would buy food and cook dinner at least three nights a week and they’d be really great dinners,” she says. “It taught me how to cook for when I moved out.”
Mary moved in with her mother two different times and she would treat her mother to groceries or lunch when she could. Now that she’s moved out and is more financially independent, she treats her mom to spa days for her birthday to show appreciation for living at home.
Save money like you mean it
When your expenses are low and you’re bummed out about living at home, it’s tempting to splurge on bar tabs, trips, or new clothes.
Kelly got a discount at the bookstore where she worked while living at home, so buying books and eating out were her weaknesses. She urges others to “use this opportunity to save as much as you can. Eat at home and take advantage of that opportunity.”
However much money you would have spent on rent and utilities, put that towards student loans or savings before you have a chance to spend it. The more you save, the sooner you can move out. If you travel for work as Kirstin does, use that opportunity to itch the travel bug instead of spending your own money on travel.
Respect their rules
Some parents relax their rules about curfews and guests for Boomerang Kids, but others will always view their kids as kids. If you want to reap the benefits of living at home, you may just have to play by their rules.
“It didn’t matter that I was 23 and I got a job; I was still living under her rules,” Mary says. She recalls one night when she arrived home at 5 a.m. following a farewell party for a friend who was moving to Europe. Mary’s mother had waited up all night and asked her, “Do you think this is a responsible hour to be walking in?”
Mary and her mom clashed about rules several times, but despite the tension, Mary says her mom is still her best friend. In fact, Mary started dating her now-husband while living with her mother, and her mom knew he was the one even before Mary did.
He’d drive an hour to see her, says Mary, adding, “My mom would say to me, ‘This guy’s making an awful lot of effort.’ She didn’t particularly like anyone I brought home, but in him she saw infinite amounts of goodness.”
Don’t get too comfy
For much of the Boomerang Generation, meeting a romantic partner motivates them to move out. “The very thought of getting intimate in one of my mom’s bedrooms seemed so wrong,” Mary says. “The doilies! The doilies!”
After college, Lauren lived with her parents in New Jersey for three years (even sleeping on the bunk bed she’d once shared with her sister). Once she’d paid off her student loans, her parents announced that they were thinking about charging her rent. That gave her the impetus to move out because she figured if she was paying rent, she might as well enjoy her independence.
If you have a timeline of when your debt will be under control or when you’ll have enough saved up, that can make the rules more tolerable rather than feeling like a life sentence.
“It was worth dealing with that inconvenience to be debt-free today,” Lauren says. “I’ve bought a house because I was able to pay off my student loans so soon, and I have friends that are still paying them off.”
On the fence about moving home? Check out this guide to see if moving in with your parents is the right choice for you.
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
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: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. 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 3.36% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.82% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.41% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% 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 April 17, 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 04/17/2019. 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 https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
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2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. 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. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com 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 LendKey.com. 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 LendKey.com 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.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
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 2.45% effective May 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.41% – 6.99%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 7.89%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.38% – 6.81%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 8.19%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.60% – 9.60%6||Undergrad & Graduate|