Everyone picks on Millennials these days but a new study by Lending Tree shows that out of all the generations, Gen X is the one dealing with the deepest financial problems.
First, some definitions.
- Gen Z or Centennials: Born 1996 – current day
- Millennials: Born 1977 – 1995.
- Gen X: Born 1965 – 1976.
- Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964.
- The Silent Generation: Born 1945 or before
We all know that two major financial mistakes are getting into debt and failing to have an emergency fund. A recent study looked into the debt levels of each generation.
Lending Tree, an online lending marketplace, did a study on the 3-year changes in each generation’s debt.
As each generation moves into different stages of their personal and economic lives, the amounts and types of debt they carry shifts, too. We compared the debts of members of the four adult generations — millennials, Gen Xers, baby boomers and silents — between March 2016 and March 2019 to see what’s changed.
Specifically, we calculated the changes in the average balance of each major debt category — personal loans, credit cards, auto loans, student loans and mortgages — and the change in the percentage of each generation that carries each type of debt. (source)
Here were the key findings:
- Millennials saw the greatest spike in overall debt. Their total balances rose by an average of $16,714 — almost 29% — between 2016 and 2019.
- Gen Xers now have the highest average debt burden of any generation. They increased their average debt burdens by about 10%, or $11,898, between 2016 and 2019, thanks to steady dollar increases across all debt categories.
- Older generations — boomers and silents — are winding down their debt, thanks to decreases in average mortgage balances. However, they’ve increased their average debt across all other categories.
- Boomers decreased their debt burdens by 7%, or $10,424. Members of the silent generation dropped their overall debt by $9,486, or 8%. (source)
Read more: Move Over, Millennials: GEN X Is the Generation in the Most Financial Trouble