Millennials are beginning to take on more auto and student loans but are lagging in their use of credit cards and are slower to build some types of credit compared to Generation X and Baby Boomers, a report from Experian reveals.
Researchers compared credit use patterns among the average Millennial, Generation X (ages 35-49) and Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation (ages 50-87) combined. Millennials have now passed Baby Boomers as the largest segment of the population but the "digitally independent generation" is still much less savvy than older generations when it comes to their finances and credit management, according to Experian.
Student loans comprise 24% of all new accounts for Millennials while 20% of Generation X had loans at that age, according to Experian. Only 27% of Millennials accounts are for bank cards, compared to 40% for Generation X when they were that age.
Strikingly, auto loans make up 14% of all recently opened accounts for Millennials, compared to only 1% for Generation X when they were the same age, according to Experian.
Millennials' overall behavior with credit likely can be attributed to watching their parents deal with financial struggles during the recession, according to Experian.
"Given the significance Millennials play in financial services and the credit marketplace, it is crucial to understand this influential consumer segment and how they use credit as a tool," said Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics and business development in the news release. "While this generation may not look like they are on the right track financially, its important tokeep in mind that credit scores are built on credit experiences, and while this generation has been slower to use credit, they have plenty of opportunities tobuild a positive credit history."