Young Americans are overloaded with student debt and are becoming less likely to take out loans to buy a house or a car, according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Student debt has swelled over the past decade, with about 43 percent of Americans under the age of 25 having education-related debt last year, at an average of $20,326. Back in 2003, just 25 percent of young people were carrying debt; and the average burden was about half of what it is now. For many years, young people with student debt were more likely to own a home than those without -- thanks to the higher pay that traditionally accompanied a college degree -- but the trend has reversed. Young people with a heavy student debt load may be skittish about assuming additional debt, according to the report, or lenders may be becoming more wary of lending to borrowers with student loans, especially as delinquency rates among that population climb and credit scores fall. The end result may be more pain for the U.S. economy, which is largely driven by auto and housing sales.