Credit Card Debt Among Young Adults

Credit card statistics show an ever increasing amount of credit card debt. The statistics around the debt of young Americans is frightening. These young people are entering adulthood strapped with the burden of credit card debt.

In a recent report from Demos-USA entitled "Generation Broke, The Growth of Debt Among Young Americans," by Tama Draut and Javier Silva, the following statistics regarding credit card use in the United States are frightening:

  • Average credit card debt among indebted young adults increased by 55% between 1992-2001 to $4,088 (based on the value of the dollar in 2001).
  • Young Americans now have the second highest rate of bankruptcy, just after those aged 25 to 44. The rate among 25-34 year olds increased between 1991 and 2001, indicating that Gen-Xers were more likely to file bankruptcy as young adults than were young Boomers at the same age.
  • Among the youngest adult household with incomes below $50,000 (2/3 of younger households [18-24 years old]), nearly one in seven with credit card debt is in debt hardship.
  • The average indebted young adult spends nearly 25 cents of every dollar of income on debt payments.
  • Of all college seniors, 96% have credit cards.
  • Nearly one out of every five 18- to 24-year-olds reported being late or missing payments on a loan within the last year.

If bankruptcy in the USA is to decline, we need to begin living more frugally within our means.

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