Members of Generation X are more likely than other age groups to revolve their credit card balances, according to a study by PSI Global.
The market research firm polled 2,400 consumers and found that only 15% of the youthful generation-which it defined as people age 22 to 33-pay off balances fully each month, versus 24% for the industry overall.
PSI Global concluded that the 50 million Americans who fall into Generation X represent 18% of cardholders, but account for one-quarter of industry outstandings.
According to the survey, 60% of that age group fell into the category of "chronic revolvers," as opposed to 46% for the general population.
More significantly, Generation X's unpaid balances were 28% higher than average, $3,128 in a typical month versus $2,438 for all card users. Members of Generation X "are generating attractive interest income for card issuers," said Maria Erickson, senior vice president of PSI Global of Tampa. "But they are less loyal. Many are adding more cards to their wallets by chasing teaser rates."
Younger cardholders are also "more interest-sensitive than average," Ms. Erickson said, "which makes them more likely to transfer balances to cards with lower rates."
Ms. Erickson concluded that issuers must "find innovative ways" to attract and retain this age group, because its members provide "a rich vein of interest revenue."