Survey: 90% of Millennials Report Carrying Non-Mortgage Debt
A new survey suggests that the vast majority of Millennials are not only in debt but that their total liabilities are now nearing six figures.
About the survey results:
According to a survey of 1,000 Millenials (defined as those born between 1981 and 1996) conducted by the Real Estate Witch, 90% of respondents said they had a least some non-mortgage-related debt to their names. Moreover, the average balance of those with debt amounted to $90,590. However, in many cases, the bulk of this total can be attributed to student loans. In fact, one-quarter of Millennials carry a student debt load, with the average total coming in at $56,528.
Notably, credit card debt also jumped significantly year over year. More than half (57%) of those surveyed reported carrying a credit card balance, with the average coming in at $8,463. That’s nearly triple the $3,000 average recorded in 2022.
Behind credit card debt, other common forms of debt reported included auto loans (43%) and medical debt (30%) followed by the aforementioned student loan debt.
Asked how much non-mortgage debt they currently have in total, 88% of respondents said they have at least $10,000 while two-thirds reported having $30,000 or more. Meanwhile, 15% said they had over a quarter-million dollars of debt.
Due in part to their debt load, 70% of Millennials surveyed described themselves as living paycheck to paycheck. In the case of 56% of respondents, this included struggling to pay bills. Additionally, 47% stated that they’ve had trouble affording their housing, while 44% say they couldn’t afford a $500 expense out of pocket.
On a brighter note, the average Millennial respondent had $42,948 in savings. Unfortunately, however, that balance is $6,500 less than the average in 2022. Furthermore, although the average respondent made $74,106 per year, they suggested they’d need at least $119,406 to live comfortably.
While there are many factors at play for why many respondents are struggling financially, some of those surveyed expressed their own regrets about how they’ve managed their money. For example, half said they should have saved more while one-third (34%) regret going into debt in the first place. Turning to more specific actions, 59% said they eat out at least once per week while 44% make impulse purchases on a weekly basis, with both activities impacting their overall finances.
As a Millennial myself, I can’t help but sympathize with my generational cohorts. Specifically, I can’t imagine how different my financial life might be had I taken on the level of student debt that the average person my age still carries. On that note, though, I do wonder if continued student debt relief efforts could lead to a major change in these survey results in the next few years. In the meantime, as challenging financial conditions continue, hopefully my fellow Millennials can find a way to make it through and become debt-free one way or another.