Experian Breaks Down Debt and Credit by Generation
Information services group Experian, known most famously for their credit reports, recently released an infographic that breaks down debt and credit between the four generations currently at the helm of global spending. These generations include those 66 and older, dubbed the Greatest Generation, those 47-65 classified as Baby Boomers, and Generations X and Y, ages 30-46 and 19-29 respectively. The debt and credit infographic was no doubt created to highlight the difference a few decades can make when it comes to financial habits, but it also serves as a way for each generation to examine themselves within their specific age group, and gives them a way to potentially learn from each another.
*Highlights below the graphic.
Here are the highlights of the Experian livecreditsmart.com infographic:
- Those 66 and older carry the most bank card debt – 43% more than the national average.
- Mortgages remain the major source of debt burden: Across the board, the majority of debt for any given generation is attributed to a mortgage. This holds true even for the 19-29 age bracket.
- Student loan debt is a growing concern: Generations X and Y have unprecedented amounts of student loans to pay off compared to older generations. Gen Xers owe 14% more in student loans than Americans in general, while the average member of Generation Y owes a whopping 420% more in student loans than the average American.
- VantageScores are staggered: The average American’s VantageScore is 751. But when graphed by generation, average scores are the highest for older folks at 829 and lowest for young folks at 672, while the generations in between descend accordingly. With that said, it’s not until the Baby Boomer generation where the average credit score is above the national average and not below it.
- Average American debt does NOT reflect any specific generation: Despite the ‘average’ American being roughly $78,000 in debt, this number is nowhere to be found when debt is broken up by generation. Those 66 and older tend to owe around $40,000, while the youngest possessors of debt tend to owe a little less. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have debt averages that hover around $105,000.
The conclusion is an easy one to make: the consistency of debt as well as its toll on our lives varies from generation to generation. But for specific generations looking for answers when it comes to figuring out their individual debt concerns and credit conundrums, such figures can only offer a stark reality broken down into age brackets.