Daily Ticker

Student Loan Debt Is the Biggest Financial Worry for Millennials: Wells Fargo Survey

Daily Ticker

As college students across the country graduate from universities or get ready to, student loan bills will await many of
them.

Related: Yes, Despite the Student Loan ‘Crisis,’ College IS Worth It

For the millennials that have already passed this milestone, paying off student loan debt is the top concern. Number one. That’s according to a Wells Fargo Retirement survey of 1,414 millennials between 22 and 32.

And it's top of mind for good reason, it seems. More than half of them, 64%, say they financed school through student loans. For comparison to past generations, that’s double the amount of baby boomers who financed through loans.

Related: Only 150 of 3500 U.S. Colleges Are Worth the Investment: Former Secretary of Education

In general, debt is the biggest financial concern for more than half of them at 54%, according to the findings.

And while nearly two-thirds see themselves as “savers,” 49% say they’re saving for retirement while 51% say they have not begun to save because they don’t have the money (87%) or want to pay down debt first (81%).

“This generation seems to be in an either or situation, either I’m going to pay down debt or I’m going to save for retirement, but I can’t do both,” Karen Wimbish tells The Daily Ticker. Wimbish is director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo.

“The issue is that if you’re not saving early, you have this great time ahead of you for the value of compounding of your investments and riding market cycles. The volatility of the market actually works for you when you’re younger. So missing out on that for the first 10 or 15 years of your working life is going to have a significant implication when you get to the point where you’re thinking about retiring.”

Related: Are Millennials a “Lost Generation”?

Despite the “almost crushing level of debt” many in this generation face, they actually do believe they will have a better life than their parents did, according to Wimbush, though she points out some research indicates this may be the first generation that doesn’t have a life that is better than the generation before them.

The Daily Ticker Presents: Generation I.O.U.

Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News and The Daily Ticker are teaming up to produce a special live streaming event on May 23 at 12:30 pm ET around the rising cost of college.

Are you burdened by student loan debt? Have you moved back home? Are you having trouble finding a job?

Tell us your story in 90 seconds or less and ask our experts a question. Upload your video to Flickr here. Or, send us an email at: thedailyticker@yahoo.com.

More from the Daily Ticker:

Larry Kudlow: Bernanke Was Right and I Was Wrong About Inflation

Apple’s Tax Dodging: Bigger Scandal Is Congress Knew About It Says David Cay Johnston

More Poor People Are Now Living in Suburbs Than Cities: Brookings

View Comments (38)