Economist Says Young Consumers’ Debt Worse than Thought
Lucia Dunn, professor of economics, has found that younger consumers are borrowing more heavily and repaying at lower rates than older generations and that their accumulation of credit card debt will continue over the lifecycle.
Dunn, along with her colleague Sarah Jiang (Capital One Financial), is author of the study, New Evidence on Credit Card Borrowing and Repayment Patterns, analyzing patterns of credit card use for both borrowing and payoff. What they have found is that young adults, those between 18 and 30, are taking on high amounts of credit card debt and are not paying it off as fast as previous generations. The problem is significant enough that many young adults are projected to not be able to pay off the debt in their lifetime and ultimately die in bankruptcy.
In an interview with NerdWallet (July 18, 2012), Dunn stated that many of young adult financial woes are “compounded by student loan debt.” According to Dunn, there are high pressures to enter the workforce with some level of higher education, and the influx demand for student loans has made them harder to get and harder to payoff after graduating from school. Dunn also notes that this generation has what she calls a “high time preference,” meaning that they prefer to consume sooner rather than later.
Read more of Dunn’s interview and her reseach at http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2012/young-adult-credit-card-debt-worse/