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Millennials’ life goals taking back seat to credit card debt: survey

April 4 (UPI) — The most prevalent type of debt for 18-to 34-year-old Americans is credit card debt — which is playing a larger role than student loan debt, a new survey found.

Three out of four American millennials have some form of debt, according to a survey Wednesday by NBC News/GenForward.

The amount of debt is large enough that major milestones are not being reached, the report said. A quarter of those surveyed are in debt $30,000 and 11 percent have more than $100,000 to repay.

The report found only 22 percent of millennials are debt free.

One-third of all millennials have held off on purchasing a home and 31 percent are delaying retirement savings due to debt, the survey noted. Also, just 20 percent said they have a home loan. Fourteen percent have delayed getting married due to debt, and 16 percent have delayed having children.

The survey found those with the highest amount of credit card debt are millennials with college degrees (56 percent) compared to non-degreed individuals (40 percent). The higher numbers are likely because those with a college degree typically earn more.

Almost half of African-American millennials surveyed said they have student loan debt (49 percent), which is higher than any other racial subgroup.

Only a quarter of those surveyed said they have more money in savings than they owe in debt, while 62 percent have more debt than savings. Out of those with savings, three in 10 have less than $1,000 in their personal savings, 1 percent have over $100,000 saved and 24 percent have no savings at all.

Despite increased debt, the age group overall remains hopeful about their future, with the survey finding more than half (58 percent) are optimistic about finding and keeping a good job, paying off student loan debt and being able to afford their desired lifestyle.

The survey was conducted among 1,895 millennial-aged adults, with a margin of error of 3.7 points.

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