51.5% of millennials, those now aged 23 to 38, are in the red.
A new survey by Morning Consult has revealed that more than half of American millennials are in credit card debt.
Of American millennials who are in credit card debt, 54% owe less than $5,000 while 24% said they owe $5,000 to $10,000. The one-third that’s left said that they owe over $10,000, with 13.5% owing over $20,000 in credit card debt alone.
This information has several wider implications, but first and foremost it’s having an impact on millennials’ lives. Debt is stressing millennials out. This same survey revealed that 67% of millennial respondents with credit card debt have a lot or some stress about the issue. This includes many of the respondents that owed smaller amounts of money.
Perhaps more importantly than stress itself, it can be said that millennials are facing an economic reality that other generations haven’t faced. Millennial debt is overwhelming and it’s causing millennials to become even further squeezed at a time when living costs are rising faster than income growth, particularly for millennials. When adjusted for inflation, incomes have gone up by just $29 since 1974. Millennials were earning an average of $35,426 in 1974, a figure which has only risen to $35,455. The new norm is that much of millennials’ incomes goes towards the rising costs of housing, making it easier for them to pay for daily living costs with a credit card.