A number of young Americans have hit pause on life events because they
can't pay off their debt, according to an NBC News-GenForward survey of nearly 1,900 adults.
Of those life events, there are four major ones that stand out. The
survey found that 34 percent of millennials have delayed buying a home, 31 percent have delayed saving for retirement, 16 percent have put off having children and 14 percent have put off getting
Debt has more far-reaching impact, too. Approximately three of every
four millennials in the United States report having some form of debt,
according to the survey, including a quarter who are more than $30,000 in the
hole and 11 percent who owe more than $100,000. "As a result, saving has
taken a backseat," the survey notes, "which has affected the pace at
which millennials live their lives and left most unprepared for a financial
About 3 in 10 have less than $1,000 in their personal savings, 24
percent have no savings at all and 67 percent say they would have trouble
paying an unexpected $1,000 bill.
In a similar survey, financial website Bankrate found only 39 percent of
respondents would be able to cover a $1,000 setback using their savings, while 19 percent
would have to use a credit card.
Defaulting to plastic for an emergency or another expense is a major culprit in
creating or continuing debt. "Credit card debt is the most prevalent type
among the group," the NBC News-GenForward survey notes, adding that it
plays a "bigger role than student loans."
Overall, outstanding credit card debt has reached more than $1.02 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.
The average U.S. adult owes nearly $6,000, CreditCards.com reports. And the average millennial, financial site Credible estimates,
owes nearly $5,300.
Millennials with college degrees are more likely to have credit card
debt than those without degrees, the survey points out. But they're also likely
to make more money: 56 percent of degree-holders make more than $50,000 a year
versus 31 percent of those without degrees.
Despite their debt, though, millennials are making strides toward
financial security. A Discover survey found that 81 percent of millennials are saving in some capacity,
compared to 77 percent of Baby Boomers and 74 percent of those in Generation X.
A Charles Schwab survey that tracked how 1,000 Americans
aged 21 to 75 handle money found that young people are better with finances than their older
peers. And, according to recent Bank of America survey, one in six millennials
now has $100,000 stashed away.
The NBC News-GenForward survey notes that "millennials overall
remain optimistic about the future: 58 percent are optimistic about things like
finding and keeping a good job, paying off student loan debt and being able to
afford the lifestyle they want."
If you're looking to build up your savings, pay down your debt or become
better at handling your money, experts like financial advisor Suze Orman and
best-selling finance author Tom Corley suggest a good first step is to set up a budget and keep an eye on how you spend.
Click here for the original article from CNBC.