New data from Experian shows Generation X is shouldering a heavier debt burden than any other generation. But after getting through the peak debt years in their 40s, Gen Xers start to outgrow their heavy credit dependence.
The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.
The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.
Across all types of debt except one, Generation X is shouldering a heavier debt burden than any other generation. But after getting through the peak debt years in their 40s, Gen Xers start to outgrow their heavy credit dependence.
According to Experian data from the last quarter of 2018, Americans age 39 to 54 have a higher average balance on credit cards, auto loans, student loans and mortgages than older and younger generations.
They were only outdone in personal loans, where baby boomers have an average balance of $19,403 vs. Gen X’s $17,277 average. But Gen X still carried a higher personal loan average than the population average ($16,249).
See related: Gen X most anxious about retirement
Experian’s data also shows that Americans’ total debt builds up until about age 43 or 44, hovers around that peak level for four to five more years, and then starts tapering off around age 50. It then drops significantly with each subsequent year.
Experian’s analysis was based on statistically relevant aggregate sampling of its consumer credit database for 2018’s 4th quarter, with findings released April 3.