Debt Ridden & Debt Aware

With a total of about 1.4 Trillion dollars in student loan debt hanging over heads young and old – and Millennials holding 50-60% of it – taking on additional debt is a valid concern for both newly minted Millennial grads and grizzled thirty-somethings. That was reflected in an early 2015 survey we did with theMillennial Lab Think Force in which we asked a few questions about Credit Cards ownership and use.

When we asked – “How many credit cards do you have?” – nearly 36% had no credit cards, and another 50% had only 1 or 2. So nearly 90% of respondents had 2 or less cards. I guess gone are the days in which wallets are chock-full of every benefits card imaginable – Chevron to Sears to Alaska Air to Nordstrom to AmEx to…

We next inquired about use of the card with the question “How often do you use your credit card(s) per month?” – 72% reported use 3 times or less each month.  About 8% reported everyday use. And they are paying them off a little quicker too. In a 2014 BofA Report on Millennials, they shared that nearly half (49%) pay off their credit card debt in full each month.

And lastly, we asked – “The most important factor in selecting a credit card to apply for is the” The options we gave included Credit Limit, Interest Rate, Loyalty Points/Incentives and Fees/Penalties. The winner – Interest Rate by a land slide. At 57%, it outperformed Credit Limit at 4%, Loyalty Points/Incentives at 24% and Fees/Penalties at 14%.

Debt has certainly made an impact on industries like Auto, Real Estate, Investments, and other non-essential nice-to-have categories, but the way things works, we’ll keep stacking it up.