The 2008 housing crisis and the changes in lending practices that led up to it shook the status of home loans as secure debt in the USA. The crisis hit during a time when many young adults had recently bought their first home, making it a particularly consequential moment in their homeownership career. We investigate the effects of the housing crisis on the mental health of young homeowners using longitudinal data. We model levels of anxiety among young homeowners carrying mortgage debt before and after the recession as an early indicator of how the crisis affected the experience of home loans. The positive effects of being a mortgaged homeowner before the recession declined significantly after the housing crisis. We discuss whether this shift may portend a longer-term shift in American beliefs in the value of investing in housing, with significant implications for financial well-being and wealth stratification.

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