Millennials display low levels of financial literacy, engage in problematic financial behaviors and express concerns about their debt, according to a FINRA Investor Education Foundation study.
Only 24% are able to answer four or five questions on a five-question financial literacy quiz correctly. And only 18% were able to answer four or five questions correctly.
“Many millennials began their adult lives in the midst of the worst economic downturn in generations, and our survey reveals just how deeply and broadly the Great Recession has marked the financial lives of this generation of Americans. Unfortunately, far too many millennials trying to cope with these economic conditions have low levels of financial literacy and are wrestling with concerns about their debt,” said FINRA Foundation president Gerri Walsh.
The survey paints a troubling portrait of this generation’s behavior and attitudes in an era of high underemployment and unemployment, a sluggish economy and tight credit markets.
- Almost half (46%) of millennials are concerned they have too much debt, slightly less but on par with gen Xers (50%) – but much higher than the 38% of baby boomers and 23% of respondents from the silent generation who feel they have too much debt.
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- 43% of millennials engaged in costly non-bank forms of borrowing in the last five years, like using pawn shops and pay day lenders. By contrast, 21% of boomers and 8% of the silent generation used non-bank forms of borrowing.
The study also found that despite the higher financial strain millennials face, they express levels of financial satisfaction that are on par with gen Xers and boomers.
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