BACK

Research and Statistics

Millennials more likely to discuss credit card debt than older adults

Sabrina Karl
Personal Finance Writer
Data whiz and visual storyteller

 

Millennials have a reputation for over-sharing, and they’re less shy than older adults about the typically taboo topic of credit card debt.

According to a new LendingClub survey, more than three-quarters of Americans say card debt is something they keep closely under wraps.

The survey found only 23 percent of U.S. adults will discuss credit card debt with others, even less than the 27 percent who said they would share information about a bankruptcy. Dating, marriage and relationship issues, in contrast, felt comfortable to share among 44 percent of adults.

However, younger Americans feel less secretive about their card debt than older adults, with 28 percent of millennials (age 18-34) saying they would talk about card debt. That’s compared to sharing rates of just 19 to 21 percent for Generation X and baby boomer age groups.

A similar study conducted by CreditCards.com in 2013 found card debt was the No. 1 taboo topic for consumers, even when measured against other touchy subjects such as love life, salary and political and religious views. Respondents who were 18-24 at the time expressed more openness than older groups to discussing taboo topics in general.

See related: Millennials outdoing parents, grandparents on smart money moves, More infographics

LendingClub’s survey also addressed consumers’ card debt payment habits. Across all respondents, only 40 percent said they always pay their credit card balances in full, with 12 percent reporting they never pay the full balance.

Among those carrying balances, the debt is taking a social and emotional toll. Survey respondents with ongoing card balances were almost three times more dissatisfied with their personal life than those without card debt (31 vs. 13 percent), and also reported feeling more isolated. More than half of card debt holders (55 percent) said they don’t feel they belong to a larger community.

LendingClub’s survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll among 5,006 U.S. adults age 18 or older. Administered in August 2018, the survey’s results were weighted to demographically match the general U.S. adult population and were released Oct. 11.

What’s up next?

In Research and Statistics

3 in 10 cardholders pay their balances in full each month, banks say

Three in 10 cardholders pay their balances in full each month, according to new data from the American Bankers’ Association. It’s the highest level since the group began tracking that data since 2008.

Published: October 25, 2018

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 21st, 2019
Business
15.55%
Airline
17.49%
Cash Back
17.63%
Reward
17.49%
Student
17.69%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.