If you’re in your 20s or 30s and dealing with a significant amount of credit card debt, you’re not alone. A study just published by Morning Consult and Business Insider found that over 51% of millennials (defined as people between 23 and 38) have credit card debt. The survey polled almost 2,100 people of all ages about their earnings, debt and overall financial situation. Of those, 670 were millennials.
The amount of credit card debt reported by millennials varied significantly.
- Over half (54%) owed under $5,000.
- Almost a quarter (24%) owed between $5,000 and $10,000.
- The remainder owed $10,000 and up. Of those, 4.5% said their credit card debt was over $30,000.
As would be expected, the percentage of millennials who said they were stressed out about that debt increased with the amount of money owed. Overall, more than two-thirds (67%) said they felt at least some stress about their credit card debt.
While we all have some level of control over how much we use our credit cards, we have to look at credit card debt as part of Americans’ overall financial health. For many people, the cost of living has simply not kept up with wages.
Here’s a particularly troubling statistic: When adjusted for inflation, the median income of 25-to-34-year-old Americans is just $29 higher than it was 45 years ago in 1974. That’s according to a report by SuperMoney based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s considerably less than income growth for people from their mid-30s to mid-50s.
That $29 can’t make a dent in paying off student loan debt, which many millennials are dealing with along with the ever-increasing cost of real estate and other housing. The median home price in 1974 was just under $200,000. Last year, it was over $322,000 (adjusted for inflation).
It’s no wonder that young adults have come to rely on their credit cards for everyday expenses like groceries, gasoline, utilities and more. However, if you can’t pay off your credit cards every month, the interest and balances can become overwhelming. If you’re in that position, it may be wise to look at debt relief options that can help you get your finances back on track.
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