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Two in Five Millennials in the U.S. Are Concerned About their Level of Debt PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 July 2016
FICO’s latest consumer finance trend research has revealed that 37 percent of Millennials aged 25-34 are concerned about their level of debt, while 33 percent of them are interested in getting assistance to help manage their debts.  

After residential mortgages, the biggest debt burden for this age group is student loans, with 32 percent of Millennials saying they owe $20,000 or more. A close second is auto loans, with 45 percent of Millennials reporting they owe $7,000 or more.

The FICO survey revealed car ownership was seen as a necessity, with 91 percent of Millennials preferring the use of one for daily transport. A further 19 percent said they would buy a car using a credit card.

Student debt, by contrast, is seen as an impediment according to a study by the National Association of Realtors. The findings confirmed that 71 percent of “non-homeowners” with outstanding student loans feel it is significantly impacting their ability to purchase a home.

Tim Van Tassel, vice president of FICO’s credit lifecycle business line, said, “Our research shows that delinquency risk is highest among 25-34 year-olds, who are still developing their financial literacy skills and learning to manage their loans and lifestyle costs. The silver lining for lenders is that Millennials aged 24-35 are keenly aware they may need some help. For financial institutions, there’s a great opportunity to minimise the risk of delinquency by alerting customers when payments are due.”

Across all age groups, email emerged as the preferred channel for general late payment notifications. 65 percent of Millennials wanted to be contacted this way when their student loans were overdue by less than 90 days. The biggest exception was around home equity or residential mortgages, where more than 35 percent wanted an in-app notification for late payments less than 90 days but preferred a simple phone call regarding any late payments overdue by more than 90 days.

“The key to helping Millennials and other consumers repay their debts is knowing how and when to contact them, which varies not just by age but by individual preference,” said VanTassel. “FICO offers a customer communications service which has seen hundreds of organisations improve their results and customer service.”

FICO conducted an online survey of about 1,000 US consumers over the age of 17 in October and November 2015. Data was weighted by age and region to reflect U.S. Census data.
 
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