Millennials are buckling under all kinds of debt, and they’re freaking out

Millennials are stressed about all kinds of debt.

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Millennials are stressed about all kinds of debt.
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Millennials are stressed – and it’s largely because of money.

Indebted millennials, in particular, are feeling the strain more than other generations, according to a new survey from Insider and Morning Consult. The survey polled 2,096 Americans about their financial health, debt, and earnings for a new series, “The State of Our Money.” More than 670 respondents were millennials, defined as ages 23 to 38 in 2019.

Roughly a quarter of millennial respondents have a mortgage, and 41% have a car loan, the report found. Of millennial respondents with a mortgage, nearly 49.7% have some or a lot of stress about it, compared to 41.9% of overall respondents. The numbers are similar when it comes to car loans: 50.7% of millennial respondents with a car loan have some or a lot of stress about it, compared to 42.9% overall.

But millennials are most stressed about their credit card and undergrad student loan debts – 51.5% and 28.4% of millennial respondents have each, respectively.

Of millennials with credit card debt, nearly 68% have some or a lot of stress, whereas only 60% of overall respondents do. That’s even higher for those with student loan debt – about 72% of millennials with undergrad debt have some or a lot of stress about it, compared to 66% of respondents overall.

Read more: Millennials are swamped in debt, and it’s not just student loans

Debt stress might explain why the majority of young adults define financial success as being debt-free. A Merrill Lynch Wealth Management report, which surveyed more than 2,700 Americans ages 18 to 34, found that only 19% of respondents view financial success as being rich – 60% see it as not having any debt.

“Freedom from debt seems a low bar of accomplishment, yet it’s an elusive goal for many early adults,” the report said.

According to the report, citing the Survey of Consumer Finances, 81% of early-adult households carry a collective debt of nearly $2 trillion. The debt includes car loans and mortgages but is mainly made up of student-loan debt and credit-card debt.