A fifth of all American millennials, people aged 18 to 37, expect to die before their debts are paid off – and older generations are even more pessimistic about their ability to pay off their creditors, according to a new report.
It isn’t just millennials – more than a quarter of their parents’ generations also believe they’ll never pay off their debts, according to a creditcards.com poll. This is true of both the stereotypically cynical “Generation X” – now aged 38 to 53 – and the more idealistic “baby boomers,” aged 54 to 72.
The elderly aren’t spared: more than a third of Americans over age 73 believe they, too, will die in debt. More than 80 percent aren’t sure when or if they’ll be able to pay down their debts, a larger share than any other age group.
It’s a gloomy picture of the financial future coming from the country that trumpets its status as the number one global economy, but these numbers actually represent an improvement over last year’s stats.
Mortgages are the most common type of debt, burdening more than half the poll respondents, and credit card debt was almost as widespread. But millennials are most likely to carry student loan debt, which can’t be canceled even by declaring bankruptcy. And the government is serious about collecting on its investment – stories of SWAT teams breaking down doors to collect on unpaid student loans have become increasingly common. With the US itself $22 trillion in the hole, the government might think they need the money more than their citizens do.
Even those (few, apparently) Americans who aren’t shouldering a massive debt burden are dangling over a financial cliff, according to a CareerBuilder report from 2017 that showed 78 percent of American workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck. With the government shutdown holding 800,000 employees’ paychecks hostage, most have no savings to rely on and must use credit cards or other loans to make ends meet – thus digging themselves further into debt.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!