Millennials and Credit Cards Interview with KOMO Radio Seattle

By Media Relations Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, with Rick Van Cise of KOMO Radio Seattle about the results of the April 2015 Millennials and Credit Cards survey. The interview and transcript are below.


Rick Van Cise: Alright, how many credit cards do you have in your wallet? If you’re a millennial, the answer might be zero. Matt Schulz is with Matt, you just completed a survey of consumers 18 to 29 year olds and found that they’re not big into plastic, huh?

Matt Schulz: What we found is that about one in three folks who are 18 to 29 say that they’ve never had a credit card. And that’s obviously a big number.

Cise: I can remember when I was going to college, my folks wanted to make sure I had a credit card, not only for safety, but also as a matter of building credit. So why are the millennials giving up on plastic?

Schulz: Well, it’s a couple of reasons: 1) They came of age during the Great Recession and the horrible job market that they and their friends have faced, and that might have made them a little reluctant to use credit and push them a little more to debit and prepaid cards that don’t really let you spend what you don’t have. And then there’s also the fact that industry regulations came around that made it harder for people who are under 21 to even get a credit card because it requires them to show proof of income or to get a cosigner to get a card.

Cise: So 36% of millennials have never had a credit card, according to your survey, but it also kind of depends on where you live, whether you’re like in Seattle or some rural area.

Schulz: Sure, apparently folks in the big city have much more use for credit cards than rural folks do. What we say is that about three-quarters of urban and suburban residents said that somebody should get their first credit card before the age of 25 and fewer than half of rural residents said that.

Cise: Now you with kind of have the pulse of the industry, if you will, is there going to be some efforts, some marketing efforts by the credit card providers to get more young people signed up?

Schulz: I would think so. Banks understandably would be nervous about this seeing as how millennials are the largest generation in the history of the country. So I would imagine some pretty significant steps might be taken.

Cise: You can read more at Matt Schulz, always good to hear from you. Thanks, buddy. Appreciate your input here.

Schulz: Thanks a lot.

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