Debt is not a coincidence. There are always choices involved that lead to debt and they make up a mindset towards loans, spending, and going into debt. This has been passed down from generations before them, dating back to an old tradition of American credit and debt. While millennials are certainly not the greatest about spending and saving, they have not chosen their situation. It has been given to them. It is clear that the system of credit in the United States is deeply flawed, and we must work to fix this broken mindset.
The State of Millennial Debt
Above all other forms of finance, millennials struggle with student debt. The generation has been encouraged to take out loans to cover their studies and to worry about it later. The problem is that loans are never a solution, they simply prolong the problem. According to a study conducted by Business insider and Morning Consult, of the over 2,000 people surveyed, 51.5 percent of them admitted to having debt. Out of the people who said they are struggling with debt, 67.4 percent said that they are stressed out about it.
Around a quarter of millennials have taken out personal loans and 28.4 percent have student loan debt. This made up the majority of loan debt from the study. Yet, 46 percent of millennials said that they are better off than other generations. Whether that’s true or not, millennials were given the mindset that surrounds debt from their parents, the same way they got it from theirs. This includes taking out loans to pay for things they may or may not have money for instead of changing their overall lifestyle or opting for cheaper long-term plans.
These problems all relate to the way we view spending, loans, and debt. The students of the millennial generation have been taking out student loans because taking out credit has been a normal way of American life for decades. The problem is, they were never a solution and they never helped much of anything. Going into debt is a problem, not a solution. It is not an answer to financial woes, it only makes them last longer. You should only take out a loan when you have exhausted all other choices according to MoneyPug, a site used to find instant payday loans. This includes asking your loved ones to borrow money and trying to sell things you don’t need.
Along with the outlook that taking out loans is normal, people tend to think that they are the only one struggling with debt. This is, obviously, far from the truth. According to a survey from Greenwald & Associates, 25 percent of the people who take out 401(k) loans is to get through the day-to-day. This is followed by the people who use loans to pay off other debts, which represents 23 percent. Those who take out loans to cover out-of-pocket expenses are another 23 percent of those who take out these loans.
While it isn’t necessarily your fault if you are struggling with loan debt, you should make an effort to change your mindset. Once you do, you will be able to see that debt is not a solution to your financial problems. Every dollar counts. Money adds up and goes away quickly, the more you save the more you will have later. Keep in mind that you are not the only one facing debt and you will see that it is systematic, not an anomaly.
When millennials get the chance to be truly independent, without student debt and their parents dictating financial decisions, they will likely be better off. The generation is not financially illiterate and they are not bad with money. They just have not been giving the chance to be free of the mindset, but growing up with the internet has helped. They have learned that the mindset surrounding debt is flawed. As the awareness that debt is the last resort and should be treated as such, more people will begin to change their habits.
The outlook on the subjects of loans, credit, and debt are flawed and outdated. In fact they were never really accurate. We have been sold a lie by creditors and now that we know that we can make decisions that will change our lives.