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Generation X, baby boomers struggling with credit card debt

Debt does not discriminate against Pennsylvania consumers, and people of any age can end up owing more than they can handle. However, the average debt carried by different generations does vary and may indicate which age groups face the biggest financial struggles. Whether looking at credit card debt or more, Generation X seems to have the most trouble getting debt under control.

Adults between the ages of 40 and 55 are considered Gen X. The average consumer in this generation owes $135,841. This amount covers all types of debt, including credit card balances, auto loans, mortgages and student loans. The typical Gen Xer has a $8,215 credit card balance, $21,570 auto loans and $39,981 in student loans. Those with mortgages owe an average of $238,344, with home equity loan balances of just under $40,000.

Baby boomers have less debt than Gen Xers, although both are the only generations with debt higher than the national average of $90,460.  Although they owe 7.5% less than they did in 2015, things are still not great. The average baby boomer owes $96,984, including $19,253 in personal loans. Those with mortgages average balances of $244,500.

Generation Z, millennials and the silent generation — those over the age of 75 — all owe less than the national average. Millennials owe the most with an average personal debt of $78,396, while Generation Z — adults between the ages of 18 and 23 — only owe $9,593. An adult in the silent generation will have about $40,925 of debt.

While each generation carries varying average debt, it is not necessarily the amount of debt that puts people in difficult financial situations. Instead, it is a person’s ability to keep up with monthly payments. This depends on a number of different factors, like income, unexpected expenses and other financial constraints. Adults in Pennsylvania should be ready to consider bankruptcy when making those monthly payments becomes impossible, even if they think they are not carrying that much credit card debt.

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