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Gallup: Consumers’ Debt Increasing, Unevenly Across Populations
Monday, March 7, 2016 6:40 AM

While nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults carry no consumer debt other than a mortgage, those who do have debt owe more than $25,000, according to a Gallup analysis.

Student loan debt is a tipping point for many borrowers. Roughly 20 percent of consumers report having student loan debt, with 35 percent of millennials and 25 percent of Gen Xers holding such loans. Gen Xers have the largest average student loan balances with more than $30,000 outstanding.

Gen Xers—those in the prime child-rearing years—carry the largest balances in all four debt categories: credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and other personal loans. They also have the most credit cards:  4.5 compared with the average of 3.4.

The 64 percent of Millennials with any consumer debt have the second-highest total, with an average balance of more than $29,000. If that balance includes student loans, the total skyrockets to more than $40,000. On average, student loans are millennials' largest debt category and account for 39 percent of their consumer debt burden.