Survey: 56 Percent of Young Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck

June 17, 2014
CBS Charlotte (N.C.) 

More than 40 percent of young Americans in the workforce, known as "Millennials," are struggling with growing debt, with 56 percent reporting that they survive "paycheck to paycheck."

Based on a Wells Fargo survey, 47 percent of Millennials are devoting more than half of their paychecks to repay debt, much of it tied to student loans. Forty-two percent cite increased financial risks as “their biggest financial concern currently,” and 40 percent of consider their debt to be "overwhelming."

About half of college-educated Millennials who have been graduates for two years report that they still require financial support from their families. Nearly a third cited student loans as their top financial concern. When estimating categories of debt as a percentage of monthly income, Millennials reported that credit card debt took 16 percent, mortgage debt claimed 15 percent, student loan debt ate 12 percent, auto debt made up 9 percent, and medical debt accounted for 5 percent.

There also is a gender gap among Millennials. The poll found that about 45 percent of female respondents felt “overwhelmed” by debt, compared to 33 percent of men. About half of the women said they were saving money, compared to 61 percent of men. Despite current obstacles, many young Americans remain optimistic, with 72 percent optimistic that they will be able to save enough to create the lifestyle they want in the future. Nearly 70 percent also said that they felt better off financially than other members of their generation.

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