Total student loan balances nearly tripled between 2004 and 2012, reaching $1 trillion, according to findings from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The burden has forced many potential young buyers out of the homeownership market, prompting them either to rent or move back in with their parents. First-time home buyers normally comprise over 40 percent of the home buying population; but the volume has been at or below 30 percent during the housing recovery, reports the National Association of Realtors. One-third of student loan borrowers are delinquent on their debts, which affects their credit rating, which also can keep them out of the mortgage market. "Short term, you see a decrease in the number of first-time home buyers. You're going to see somebody who would have been able to afford a more expensive house maybe go for the lower version or the downgraded version," points our Brian Coester of Coester Valuation Management. "Long term, it's going to really affect especially the upper end, because people aren't going to have the excess income to buy the jumbo property or buy that high end property. It's going to affect home prices as a negative, as more of a cap, because it's really debt that they are servicing."