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Younger generations learning debt lessons from observation?

Statistics indicate that millennials, who are defined as those in the late teens and twenties, have a low tolerance for debt. One industry writer points out that millennials have watched the boomer and Gen-X generations struggle with debt for the past twenty years, so it's not surprising that the younger generation sees debt in a negative light.

According to reports, household debt in the United States has doubled since 1989 after remaining fairly stagnant for decades. Older generations used debt only for major purchases such as houses and vehicles. Before the 80s, high-interest revolving credit accounts didn't exist en masse, and credit cards were not common.

Today, all generations face rising expenses and the constant barrage of credit applications and offers. Many of those offers come at times when families or individuals need specific items or have found themselves in a financial crisis, so the offer of credit seems like a good idea. While credit itself is not a bad idea, debt can become an issue when it spirals out of control.

While the millennial answer of avoiding all debt may not be a completely practical option in today's credit-addled age, managing individual debt better is certainly a good idea. And for those who are in a financial crisis for any reason, debt relief and management processes are available. Relief can come in the form of reorganization, consolidation or bankruptcy. Understanding your options for debt relief and how they work on your credit score and future is important. Speaking with a knowledgeable professional before making any decisions can help you protect yourself and your financial future.

Source: Business Insider, "Millennials are trying to avoid debt at all costs," John Mauldin, Aug. 20, 2015

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