2 in 3 Millennials Have Credit Card Debt, More Than Double the Number Who Have Student Loans

Credit card debt weighs down more millennials' finances than student loans, according to a new report from financial services online marketplace, CompareCards.com, which found only 13 percent of millennial credit cardholders are completely debt-free.

Across all generations, nearly one in four cardholders expect to die in debt, including those in wealthier households.

CompareCards surveyed more than 1,000 cardholders about their debts, from credit cards and auto loans to mortgages and student loans. Cardholders revealed their wide-ranging battles with debt, and many indicated they aren't optimistic about their ability to pay it off.

Key findings

  • Just 13% of millennial credit cardholders are debt-free, slightly higher than the 11% of Gen Xers who said the same, but far less than the 29% of baby boomers without any debt.
  • 67% of millennials report having credit card debt, while just 36% face student loan debt.
  • 25% of women think they'll never be debt-free, compared to 19% of men.
  • 16% of those who expect to die in debt have a household income surpassing $100,000.
  • Only 7% of cardholders with kids under 18 are debt-free, compared to more than 20% of those with older children or no kids at all.
  • 7 in 10 of those in credit card debt across all age groups have at least one other type of debt as well.
  • On average, millennials with debt expect to be debt-free at age 49, and they took on their oldest existing debt at 24.
  • Gen Xers who owe expect to be debt-free at age 67, and they took on their oldest existing debt at 30.
  • Baby boomers with debt expect to be debt-free at age 81, and they took on their oldest existing debt at age 49.

"Most conversations around millennials and debt center around the nation's trillion-dollar student loan crisis, but the truth is, credit card debt is far more prevalent. With many millennials juggling student loan or car payments on top of credit card bills, it's no wonder some think they'll never be debt-free," said Matt Schulz, CompareCards Chief Industry Analyst.

“Across all generations, it's shocking that nearly a quarter expect to die in debt. Viewing debt as a financial death sentence only makes matters worse, and those in debt should commit to action wherever and whenever possible. An extra $10 or $20 toward monthly debt payments can really make a difference in the long run, especially when coupled with reduced spending or a side gig," Schulz said.

If you’re drowning in credit card debt, talk to your local credit union. InTouch Credit Union may be able to help you consolidate that high-interest credit card debt into a low-interest personal loan.