Consumer Payment Card News

Gen X Debt

Credit card debt among young adults between the age of 25 and 34 has increased 55%, while credit card debt among the youngest adults, between 18 and 24, has skyrocketed 104% since 1992. The average indebted young-adult household (aged 25-34) now spends almost a quarter of every dollar earned on debt payments while the youngest adult households (aged 18-24) spend nearly 30 cents of every dollar earned servicing debt. The findings come from a new report from New York City-based Demos. The report found that a growing number of Gen-Xers carry a credit card balance. Slightly more than 70% revolve their balances, compared to 55% of all cardholders. Among other key findings: among the two-thirds of young-adult households (aged 25-34) with incomes below $50,000, nearly one in five with credit card debt is in debt hardship — spending more than 40% of their income servicing debt, including mortgages and student loans, and Americans aged 25-34 have the second highest rate of bankruptcy (just after those aged 35 to 44). The bankruptcy rate among 25-34 year olds increased between 1991 and 2001, indicating that Gen-Xers were more likely to file bankruptcy than were young Baby Boomers at the same age.

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