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Credit, Debt, Income by the Generations: How Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, Greatest Generation Compare

August 4th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Consumer Info

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: February 26, 2018)

Credit, Debt, Income by the Generations: How Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, Greatest Generation Compare

Think people your age manage their finances better or worse than the younger and/or older generation? Find out. Experian breaks it down by average credit and debt, all relative to average income. How does your generation stack up?

Breaking It Down by the Generations

Average Credit Score (based on Experian’s VantageScore model)

Highest: Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation, 709

Lowest: Millennials, 625

Average Debt

Highest: Generation X, $125,000

Lowest: Millennials, $52,120

Average Debt (excluding mortgages)

Highest: Generation X, $26,670 (but with Millennials a close second, $26,485)

Lowest: Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation, $19,217

Average Income

Highest: Generation X, $50,400

Lowest: Millennials, $34,430

Bankcard Balances

Highest: Generation X, $6,752

Lowest: Millennials, $3,403

Bankcard Utilization

Highest: Millennials, 43 percent (but with Generation X a close second, 41 percent)

Lowest: Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation, 25 percent

The Takeaway

Generation X (35-49)

Though they have the highest average income, that’s not translating into a superior financial situation. In fact, Generation X has the highest average debt, even when excluding mortgages. They also have the highest bankcard balances. And though they’re a close second to Millennials when it comes to bankcard utilization, they’re still at a whopping 41 percent (the ideal being no more than 30). Their average credit score is nothing to write home about either, at 650.

Millennials (19-34)

Since they’ve had less time to build their credit history, it’s no real surprise that Millennials log the lowest average credit scores. But while Millennials as a whole reportedly prefer cash to credit cards, those who do you use credit cards use them a lot, with a whopping 43 percent utilization. Yes, their total bankcard balances are the lowest among the generations, but they’ve also had less time to build up higher limits.

Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation (50+)

As one would hope for the generations that have been around the longest, Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation seem to be in the best credit shape of them all. Though their average incomes are less than Millennials, at $46,340, Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation have the highest credit scores, lowest average debt excluding mortgages, and lowest bankcard utilization ratio.

Where Do You Stand?

How does your financial situation compare to others in your generation? If you’d like to do better, get tips on paying off credit card debt, paying off your mortgage early, and building your credit score.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Understanding the retail generation gaps - GP 6a -

    […] Gen X is recognised, but not given attention, with 54% feeling the frustration of being ignored by brands. They are also not given enough credit. Though Gen X saw the rise of the Internet later in their years, they spend more time on social media than Millennials weekly. They might be outnumbered by Millenials and Gen Z, but they have a significantly higher average income.  […]

  • Understanding The Retail Generation Gaps and How to Target Them

    […] Gen X is recognised, but not given attention, with 54% feeling the frustration of being ignored by brands. They are also not given enough credit. Though Gen X saw the rise of the Internet later in their years, they spend more time on social media than Millennials weekly. They might be outnumbered by Millenials and Gen Z, but they have a significantly higher average income. […]

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