Younger Americans carrying unprecedented amount of credit card debt

Researchers have found that younger Americans are carrying an extraordinary amount of credit card debt, as compared to their parents at the same age.

It’s all fun and games until the bankers decide the game is over. Credit is something my parents rarely used, besides purchasing a house, but it’s something that has become more and more common for the younger generation.

As we all know – check that, as “many” of us know – when the music stopped in 2008 because of the Wall Street crash, millions of Americans were left with loads of debt and no possible way of digging out of it. Everyone knows how easy it is to just drop a purchase on a credit card and deal with it later, but as your parents may have said, “don’t do it.”

We’re still not out of the woods with the economy, and earnings continue to lag, so those purchases won’t be any easier when they’re paid out over time.  And you’ll have exorbitant interest rates making the purchase that much more expensive than you planned.  Credit card debt: don’t do it.

Reuters has more on the credit habits of those in their late 20s and early 30s.

ecommerce, shopping, computer credit card debt

Credit card debt via Shutterstock.

Researchers that people born between 1980 and 1984 have on average $5,689 more debt than their parents had at the same stage of their lives, and $8,156 more than their grandparents.

“If what we found continues to hold true, we may have more elderly people with substantial financial problems in the future,” said Lucia Dunn, a co-author of the study and a professor of economics at Ohio State University.

Our projections are that the typical credit card holder among younger Americans who keep a balance will die still owning money on their cards,” she added in a statement.

Very scary thought.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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