What Generation Has The Most Debt?

Who hasn’t wondered which generation has the most debt? The discussion actually led to a pretty heated battle in the Evan household.  While the people at Live Credit Smart provided us with actual answer of What Generation Has the Most Debt I believe it should be a deeper conversation:

Experian_Infographic

The Wife took the infographic at face value saying that it is our generation was the first ones with access to cheap student loans, cheap mortgage rates and Credit Card offers at every building in college.  I believe that you can’t look at the infographic at face value since it follows a normal American’s life arch.  For instance when you hit 30 you’ll be buying a home, getting a car, and still have those student loans, but as you hit where the baby boomers are your debt should  winding down.

 

What are your thoughts on the debt statistics?

25 Responses to What Generation Has The Most Debt?

  1. As a 65 year old, i am on the cusp of the boomer and greatest generation. My only debt is a small mortgage ($60K) and an high 800 FICO score. My strongest influence was my parents who weathered the Great Depression without debt and even started a business.

    • What kind of business did they start? I know you were entrepreneurial from a young age right? If I remember correctly something to do with parking.

  2. As a Gen X’er I thought the baby boomers would have the most debt just from anecdotal evidence, I thought my generation was better informed when it came to financial matters and thus smarter about carrying debt

    • Hmmm but they have had more time to pay it off. Gen Xers have a leg up on Gen Yers as college wasn’t as expensive, but you have picked up houses into the mix

  3. The numbers seem reasonable to me.

    I’d suggest that the absolute numbers themselves are less meaningful than numbers over time. Meaning, it’s more interesting to compare, for instance, Gen X average inflation-adjusted debt at age 25 to Gen Y average debt at age 25.

    Debt/income ratios for all generations at the same ages (such as, say, 25 and 35) would be interesting to know.

  4. I think it makes sense, how you start out building credit (and learning) and then as you get older you’re paying it off. I wasn’t surprised that my generation was the highest. :-)

  5. Generation Y scares me. I’m afraid of what’s in store when it comes to their retirement. I think the problem is not only being ABLE to take out a monstrous amount of debt – but also the expectation that they deserve to have it all. Their parents might “have it all” – but their parents have worked 40+ years for it.

    • Actually had a conversation with My Mother in Law and The Wife about that today…I am not sure I am convinced that my generation believes we need it all RIGHT AWAY. They agree with you thought.

      Really interesting topic.

  6. I think that there are a lot more things that need to be considered on this chart – I get that the two highest debt groups of people also have assets to back this (I’m guessing a house) but what about the % of unsecured debt or debt tied to a depreciating asset, like a car?

    • You are 100% correct but I am sure that sort of data would be MUCH harder to pull even for one of the scary credit reporting agencies

  7. Um, my mom didn’t work at all, so that’s an interesting generalization. Not all our parents worked or earned anything.

      • Julie: “Generation Y scares me. I’m afraid of what’s in store when it comes to their retirement. I think the problem is not only being ABLE to take out a monstrous amount of debt – but also the expectation that they deserve to have it all. Their parents might “have it all” – but their parents have worked 40+ years for it.”

  8. Interesting! I sort of hate the generalizations that are frequently made against different generations. I’m a Gen Y, and there are certainly some irresponsible, greedy members of my generation, but you will find the same in any generation. I am much more financially responsible than both of my parents, though they had more investment opportunities than I do when they were my age (housing market was a lot better, for instance). I’m in my early 20s and almost every single one of my similar-aged friends has retirement accounts. Maybe there’s a difference between American GenY and Canadian Gen Y, though. I’m Canadian.

    • First thing is first, I freaking love the name of your blog. Second, I completely agree that generalizations are so frustrating about a younger generation since EVERY SINGLE OLDER GENERATION BELIEVES THE NEXT GENERATION IS TERRIBLE.

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