The Alarming Facts About Millennials and Debt

Much has been written about millennials—if they are moving back with their parents, whether they are buying cars or homes, how much they are saving for retirement. There may not be consensus on all these issues but one thing is clear: Millennials and debt go hand-in-hand.

Our research using data from the National Financial Capability Study shows that two-thirds of millennials (those aged 23-35 in 2012) have at least one source of  long-term debt outstanding—whether student loans, home mortgages or car payments—and 30% have more than one. Among the college-educated, a staggering 81% have at least one source of long-term debt.

Not only do millennials carry debt, but they struggle with it. A majority report having too much debt, difficulty in making payments, and worries about it. Specifically, the ability to pay off student loans troubles more than half of millennials who have such loans. Low-income respondents tend to be more concerned than higher-income earners, but even 34% of millennials with annual household income above $75,000 doubt they will be able to repay their student loans. Moreover, even several years after college, the percentage of those worried about repaying student loans remains high. Fifty-four percent of millennials who are over age 30 and have student loans are worried about repaying them.

– The Wall Street Journal

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