My nephew, Matt, is lucky. In June, less than two years after graduating from American University, he finished his M.A. in foreign policy and soon after, landed a position with the U.S. Treasury investigating financial fraud. Matt's always been ambitious, but he also has something valuable: no undergrad debt, thanks to a trifecta of scholarships, generous grandparents and my sister, who went back to work full time when Matt announced his goal in junior high. Unfortunately, too many of Matt's peers don't have his resources, and the money they borrow for college is pressuring them to delay marriage, start a family and buy a home, says Tamara Draut, author of Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead . "It's hard to feel like an adult when you have a storm cloud of debt hanging over your head for a decade." Today, two-thirds of undergrads who borrow graduate with just under $20,000 in loans, according to the College Board's 2005 Trends in College Pricing. That doesn't include credit card debt, adds Draut, who directs the program for economic opportunity at Demos, a research and policy advocacy group in New York City. Now that summer is waning and recent grads are starting to recover from their post-graduation fun, they face settling into the "real world" by finding an apartment, buying a car and beginning life on their own on an entry-level salary. All these factors make it likely they'll incur even more debt. Moreover, higher interest rates will make paying back debt harder, notes Steve Rhode, founder of the Myvesta Foundation, a consumer-education group. "So many people have this load of debt on their backs," says Suzanne Boas, president of the Credit Counseling Service chapter in Atlanta. "In talks that I give now, I refer to this new generation as our indentured servants."