"It’s the single greatest problem facing this generation."
-William Strauss, co-author of Millennials Rising, a 2000 book that
identified the generation born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.
We’ve looked at the increasing pressure on the Middle Class over the past few years. Now, we see where this debt is having a particularly strong impact: the twentysomethings:
"This generation of twentysomethings is straining under the
weight of college loans and other debt, a crushing load that separates it from
every previous generation.
Nearly two-thirds carry some debt, and those with debt have
taken on more in the past five years, according to an analysis of the credit
records of 3 million twentysomethings that Experian, the credit-reporting
agency, did for USA TODAY. Their late payments are rising, and they’re more
likely to be late than other Americans are.
Nearly half of twentysomethings have stopped paying a debt,
forcing lenders to "charge off" the debt and sell it to a collection agency, or
had cars repossessed or sought bankruptcy protection.
High debt loads are causing anxiety, too. A poll of
twentysomethings by USA TODAY and the National Endowment for Financial Education
(NEFE) found 60% feel they’re facing tougher financial pressures than young
people did in previous generations. And 30% say they worry frequently about
There are some people who insist that the lack of domestic savings nationally is no big deal. I suspect the wrongheadness of their arguments will be felt acutely by this generation of debt laden youth . . .
UPDATE: March 12, 2006 1:45pm
Young people struggle to deal with kiss of debt
Mindy Fetterman and Barbara Hansen,
USA TODAY, 11/20/2006 1:49 AM ET