Student loan debt has said to have been the biggest financial burden the Millennial generation will face, but more and more individuals in this generation say they are in fact, struggling with credit card debt. In fact, credit card debt – as opposed to student loan debt – is the most prevalent type of debt among the group. According to a recent NBC News/GenForward survey, 46 percent of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 34 carry credit card debt. Approximately 36 percent of them carry student loan debt. The survey reported that around three out of four Millennials carried some type of debt. More than 75 percent of those surveyed said they carried at least one type of debt, including credit cards, student loans and car loans. Only one in five Millennials reported having a mortgage debt.
One-fourth of these Millennials who carry credit card debt have balances of more than $30,000. One-fourth say that their balances are below $10,000. Around 11 percent of those in this age group surveyed have over $100,000 in debt with 22 percent of them being debt free.
The survey found that Millennials with college degrees were more likely to have credit card debt with 56 percent reported graduating with credit card debt. Forty percent who held credit card debt did not have a college degree.
When it comes to having a personal savings, 62 percent of Millennials owed more in debt than they had in a savings account. Only less than one-fourth had more in their savings account than owed in debt. Approximately one in three Millennials have less than $1,000 in savings. One-fourth of Millennials have no savings at all.
Entering the workforce with such a large amount of debt pushes young individuals to hold off on saving for the future, which leaves many of them unprepared in the event of an emergency. It also puts them at a slower start in preparing for retirement.
When asked if they would have trouble paying on an unexpected financial expense of $1,000 or more, two-thirds of them stated they would have a hard time meeting that obligation. Out of the group surveyed, those who were African-American or Latino would have the hardest time paying these obligations, although the difficulty was not exclusive to just these two groups.
If the Millennials were parents, around 48 percent of them reported that they would have a great deal of trouble in the event a financial crisis; for example, a job loss or medical emergency. Of the Millennials who did not have children, 39 percent of them reported this fact.
Credit card debt and student loan debt have caused a number of Millennials to postpone major life events like starting a family, purchasing a home and saving for retirement.
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