They’ve recently been called “the most stressed-out generation”, but it looks like debt is becoming less and less of a contributing factor to that stress for the Millennial Generation. Also known as Generation Y, the Millennial Generation generally refers to those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, or 18-32 year olds. It is the largest generation in American history.
Gen Y is hard at work combating most debt according to Pew Research, forcing it to fall 29% in three years. In that same time frame, debt for their above-35 year-old counterparts fell only 8%. Currently, just 78% younger households have debt of any kind. A large amount of that debt is from student loans, not from the purchase of homes and cars. Millennial aren’t buying homes and cars as frequently or as early as the generations that came before them. In 2011, only 34% of younger households owned their primary residence, a large amount opting for renting instead. Additionally, only 66% owned at least one vehicle.
Millennials are delaying marriage and household formation. It’s become harder and harder for them to find jobs out of college and grad school. Katherine Nordal of the American Psychological Association said that, “This has put their life plans, probably, on hiatus.”
The fact that millennials are fighting debt is something to be admired, but it forces us all to take a closer look at the worst student loan problem that this country has ever seen.