Survey: Younger Millennials have less debt

Younger members of the Millennial generation carry less debt than older Millennials, according to a recent survey by the PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

The PNC Financial Independence Survey, which evaluated the financial patterns and mindsets of those ages 20 to 29, revealed those ages 20 to 24 who held debt averaged half the load of their older peers.

The younger group held about $17,000 in debt, while the older Millennials had more than $35,000 to pay back.
Despite the rising cost of higher education, respondents who attended college reported just $31,800 in debt, down 30 percent from $45,400 in 2011.

And around 30 percent of the younger group claimed they had no debt at all, which was at about 20 percent among the older group.

“Financial maturity in this generation has noticeably shifted,” said Cary Guffey, CFP and financial advisor at PNC Wealth Management. “Younger Millennials just entered adulthood when the economy shifted downward and as a result, it’s clear they’ve become more cautious by avoiding debt.”

At the same time, saving has been on the downward trend among Millennials, to the tune of 6 percent overall. Younger members of the generation are more likely to save than their older peers, with a larger proportion of income saved, 59 percent, versus 52 percent.

The group is optimistic. Overall, 74 percent of the group expected to purchase a home by the time they reached age 35, two-third plan to retire in their early or mid-60s and 62 percent have considered entrepreneurship.

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