These two generations most at risk financially might surprise you

By Miranda Marquit

Reviewed by Kimberly Rotter

May 09, 2023

Read time: 2 min

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Dealing with inflation is never fun, and most of us are being hit hard right now at the checkout counter. If you’re a younger Millennial or part of Gen Z, you might not be surprised to learn that you’re among those most at risk as inflation soars.

Let’s take a look at some data that explains what could be going on. 

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Why are Millennials and Gen Z struggling?

I know I’ve struggled with debt in the past, but the signs are clear that Millennials and Gen Z are getting hit a bit harder. The Achieve Center for Consumer Insights points out that the salary bumps experienced by many during the “Great Resignation” were more likely to benefit people later in their careers—not newbies like those in Gen Z and younger Millennials.

On top of that, Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to be hit hard by the current affordable housing crisis and the rising cost of cars. Gen Z, especially, is feeling the pinch as they pay higher interest rates due to their shorter credit history. Millennials are also struggling, as many of them graduated into the Great Recession and weren’t in a position to take advantage of lower housing prices, plus they faced a tough job market.

So, what does this mean? Well, it means that Gen Z is most likely to be on the debt struggle bus, along with Millennials.

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Millennials and Gen Z: debt resolution programs

The numbers make it clear that financial challenges weigh more on Millennials and Gen Z than on other generations.

Achieve’s data from members in the debt resolution program shows that: 

  • Millennial and Gen Z’s combined share of debt resolution membership was up to 44% in 2022, from 23% in 2019.

  • Baby Boomers’ and the Silent Generation’s combined share, on the other hand, dropped to 23% in 2022 from 40% in 2019.

  • Gen X also saw an improvement, dropping to 32% of enrollment in 2022 from 37% in 2019.

With inflation bearing down harder on these generations than on others, it’s clear that Millennials and Gen Z will need more resources to help them deal with debt.

Author - Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is an award-winning freelance writer and podcaster who has covered various financial topics since 2006. Her work has appeared in numerous media outlets, and she is frequently asked to host workshops and appear on panels on topics related to financial wellness. She is the co-host of the Money Talks News podcast and a consumer finance advocate and spokesperson for moving hub HireAHelper.

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Kimberly is Achieve’s senior editor. She is a financial counselor accredited by the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education®, and a mortgage expert for The Motley Fool. She owns and manages a 350-writer content agency.

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