Young People Are More Wary Of Debt Than Ever

young couple buying a house

Photo: Flickr/houseofjoyphotos

Young Americans have come up with a pretty straightforward plan to stay out of debt:Don’t get into it in the first place.

A new study by the Pew Research centre shows millennials today are holding off on the pricey norms of “the real world” until they have more money in their bank accounts.

millennial debt pew

Photo: Pew Research centre

If that means shacking up, driving a clunker, passing up marriage and putting off baby plans, then so be it. 

So far, this strategy looks like it’s working. 

The amount of debt in under-35 households fell by a 29 per cent between 2007 to 2010, Pew reports. In contrast, debt of over-35 households fell by just 8 per cent.

Here are a few telling finding from Pew’s report:

  • Homes: The number of young adults owning their own houses fell 6 per cent during the recession, from 40 per cent in 2007 to 34 per cent in 2010.
  • Cars: A little more than half of young adults have a vehicle to their name. But the number of under-25 households with a car dropped from 73 per cent in 2007 to 66 per cent in 2010.
  • Credit cards: Younger people also are being more careful when it comes to credit. The number of people carrying credit card debt in the younger generation dropped from 48 per cent in 2007 to 39 per cent in 2010.

There’s just one area where young people are still struggling: Student debt.

People under age 35 saw their student loan bills grow by 34 per cent in 2007 to 40 per cent in 2010. In comparison, only 26 per cent of the same age group had student debt in 2001. 

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