More millennials have credit card debt than student loans

Third on young people's debt list? Car loans, new survey finds

Sabrina Karl
Personal Finance Writer
Data whiz and visual storyteller


Student loans often capture the spotlight, but among America’s millennials, credit cards are a much more common source of debt. 

According to a recent NBC News/GenForward survey, almost half of U.S. adults age 18-34 say they currently carry credit card debt (46 percent), while just 36 percent reported having student loans. 

More than three-quarters of the respondents (77 percent) said they carried at least one kind of debt, with auto loans coming in close behind student loans at 34 percent. Only 1 in 5 millennials (20 percent) reported having a mortgage. 

As for balances owed, a quarter indicated their debts totaled more than $30,000, while a quarter said they were sitting below the $10,000 mark. 

The survey also found that college graduates are more likely to have credit card debt (56 percent) than millennials without a college degree (40 percent). But the college graduates have higher salaries, with 50 percent making $50,000 or more per year, while just 31 percent of non-degreed millennials are making that much. 

The NBC News/GenForward at the University of Chicago Survey was conducted in February and March 2018 among a nationally representative sample of 1,895 adults ages 18-34. Results were released April 4.

Millennials more likely to hold card debt than student loans

See related: Millennials’ most-common debt: Cards, not student loans, Infographic: Millennials, once credit-shy, have gotten over it, More infographics

<center><a href=""><img alt="Cardholders want security first from mobile wallets" border="0" src="" /></a> </center>


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Updated: 02-17-2019