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The debt burden carried by different generations

The effect that the economy has on Michigan residents and others throughout the U.S. varies depending on the age group of the citizens. For instance, it should come as no surprise that the economic crisis of 2008 hit Millennials, who were just finishing college and getting prepared for their first job, differently than members of Generation X, who were stuck paying mortgages for a house that had devalued. Bearing that in mind, it follows that different generations will have different credit profiles with some struggling more than others.

A common misconception is that the generation struggling economically the most is Millennials, currently aged 21-34; however, the numbers would suggest otherwise. According to a State of Credit report by Experian, Generation X, which is comprised of people currently aged 35 to 49, seems to have the most trouble.

Generation X has the highest average non-mortgage debt at $30,334. The national average is $24,706, and Millennials have $22,784 on average. As for average mortgage debt, Generation X also has a firm lead with $231,774 whereas the national average stands at $202,000, and Millennials carry the burden of $198,000 in mortgage debt.

The report also provided some insight into credit scores. Almost every generation has managed to improve its average credit score over the past year with Millennials taking the lead with four points. Additionally, both Generation X and Baby Boomers, people within the age range of 50 to 70, increased their average credit score by 3 points.

Despite these sweeping improvements, people may become overwhelmed by their debt, causing them to consider declaring bankruptcy. With the aid of legal counsel, individuals may learn about options for debt relief. People struggling with debt may be able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, consolidate their debt, or negotiate a suitable payment schedule.

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