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Survey: Millennials have a healthy fear of credit card debt

Recently, we discussed the high amount of credit card debt held by Generation Xers and the fact that it's keeping some from saving for retirement, which is growing near for many of them. Their children, popularly referred to as millennials (those 18 to 34 years old), seem to have a healthier respect for the importance of preventing credit card debt from overwhelming them -- and even a fear of it.

In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Credible.com, millennials listed credit card debt above dying and war as the thing they found most frightening in their lives. A third put credit card debt at the top of their list, while over 20 percent said dying and almost 17 percent said war.

Interestingly, the average credit card balance for this age group is just under $5,300, which is below the national household average of $5,700.

When asked what most frightened them about their credit card debt, nearly a third listed accruing interest, while almost another third said that simply being able to make their monthly payment was what concerned them the most.

Over three-quarters of respondents said they had a least some, if not considerable, confidence that they could pay off their credit card debt within a year. Most said that they planned to at least minimize their current debt and make changes in their spending habits.

Building a credit history is important for young people. It helps them qualify for a mortgage when they're ready to buy their first home. However, it's all too easy to get overwhelmed by credit card debt, particularly when you have student loan payments and a car loan to deal with every month.

If you feel that your credit card debt is getting out of control, regardless of your age and stage in life, there are a number of options for dealing with it. Financial and legal professionals can provide important guidance.

Source: Credible, "Survey: Millennials Fear Credit Card Debt More Than Threat of War and Dying," Napala Pratini, Dec. 04, 2017

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