Survey Finds Gen Y in Trouble Financially

Many of the more than 87 million Americans age 18-34, popularly known as “Gen Y” are in financial trouble, according to survey results just released by Western Union. 

The latest Western Union Money Mindset Index, a national survey of 3,000 consumers, finds nearly 30% of Gen Yers report having difficulty in managing their spending, more than 20% wait longer to pay their bills, and 35% have borrowed money from friends or family members.   

According to a press release, half of Gen Y respondents reported feeling increased stress about financial obligations in the last six months, and more than one in three say their financial situation has worsened in the last six months.   

About 27% of Gen Y survey participants have been turned down for a loan or line of credit. Sixty percent have not seen their credit score in the past year, and 44% have never seen their credit score.  

Gen Y’s difficulties are in contrast to other survey respondents, many of whom are seeing positive changes in their financial situation including less impact from economic challenges such as changes in credit card limits and increased interest rates, a declining need for spending cutbacks, and decreased shopping at “discount” retailers.  

“The silver lining is that, in spite of the difficult economy, Gen Y is engaging in money-savvy behaviors that can help build a better financial future,” said David Shapiro, senior vice president, Western Union, in the press release. “The Money Mindset Index identified Gen Y’s use of tools such as online bill pay to manage their budget and credit standing. Factor in their high comfort level with web-based programs and budgeting tools, and Gen Y has a solid foundation for getting their finances back on track.”