Most American consumers carry some form of debt. In fact, debt has become a way of life for many Americans. Whenever a big purchase needs to be made, consumers will often apply for financing to pay for this purchase. This can include items like a home, car, furniture, or even for basic purchases.
According to data from the credit agency, Experian, as of 2019, the average American consumer has $90,460 in debt from various sources, including mortgages, student loan debt, personal loans and credit cards. Escaping this debt load can be tricky, and Experian’s data shows that certain generations struggle more than others when handling consumer debt.
The Experian study broke down different generational categories by age, examining which group carried more debt. The lowest debt load was carried by the youngest group, Generation Z. Individuals in this category are between the ages of 18 to 23, and they reported an average debt load of $9,593. The largest debt load by far was carried by members of Gen X, ages 40 to 55, with an average debt load of $135,841. The next highest group was the Baby boomer generation, ages 56 to 74, with an average debt of $96,984. Millennials who are between the ages of 24 and 39 reported carrying an average of $78,396 in debt, while the oldest generation, the Silent generation (ages 75 and older) owed an average of $40,925.
Experian reported that members of the Baby boomer and Silent generation groups saw the most significant decrease in debt since 2015. The largest increase in debt over the last five years was seen in the Millennial generation. In 2015, the average millennial had $49,722 in debt. By 2019, this figure had jumped 58 percent to $78,396 in average total debt.
While members of the youngest group, Gen Z, had the lowest overall debt load, they also struggled the most to make their payments on this debt. According to Experian, 12 percent of Gen Z consumers had credit card accounts that were at least 30 days or more past due.
Gen X carried the highest average debt in all categories with the exception of personal loans. Members in this group had the highest credit card balances than others with the average balance being at $8,215. Gen X members also had the highest car loan balances at $21,570. They also carried the highest average mortgage balance with the average being $238,344. Gen X also had the highest average student loan balance at $39,981 and highest home equity lines of credit (HELOC) balance at $49,221. However, in the personal loan category, Baby boomers had the highest personal loan balance with the average balance of $19,253.
Continuing to struggle with debt is a slower, less effective way to pay it off. Many different debt relief options exist, including debt consolidation, debt settlement or negotiation and bankruptcy – but it is important that as a consumer you research your options carefully.
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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.