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USA Today Is Aware of the Growing Debt Problem that Twentysomethings face

By Erik Folgate

You may have already seen the article from USA Today titled, Young People Struggle To Deal With Kiss Of Debt.  This is the first installment of a six-week series where USA Today will profile 6 different young people about their enormous financial debt and the struggles they face to pay it off.  A study done by Experian showed that from 2001 to 2006, the number of young people with debt fell, but the debt load of the young people in debt rose dramatically.  The highest rise was young people with more than $20,000 in debt. 

USA Today is one of the only national media outlet that seems to care or be aware of the financial problems that recent graduates and twentysomethings face.  At least once or twice a month, USA Today features a money article about Generation X and Y.  The reason that I created this blog is because I think that our generation is forgotten when it comes to financial planning and education.  Most financial experts only care about the people with the money.  Ameriprise’s entire marketing campaign is centered around baby boomers.  They could care less about helping struggling graduates.  We need more financial counselors in this country, and less financial salespeople.  It is impossible to get an unbiased opinion without a sales pitch.  Check out The Dave Ramsey Website.  It is one of the only financial education companies that offers unbiased counseling for a set fee. 

I encourage you to read this article.  One of the most intriguing parts of the article is when it talks about the differences between Generation X and Generation Y.  The majority of Gen Xers are independent, and they would never think of going back home to live with their parents.  Generation Y tends to have a sense of “entitlement” where they feel that they are entitled to high-paying jobs, and their parents are supposed to help them through college.  I am definitely in the middle when it comes to Generation X and Y.  Going back home to live with my mother was never an option.  I have been financially independent since I left home for college.  However, I used to get frustrated when my parents would not help me pay a bill, and I tend to think that I should be making more money that I make only because I have a degree.  Another interesting part of the article talks about the perception that older generations have about our generation.  They have the “Quit Whining” attitude towards us, because they see twentysomethings spending tons of money on plasma TV’s, starbucks, and digital cable.  The article does a good job at defending us by adding that most twentysomethings are not spending like crazy, because there is nothing to spend! 

Keep a look out for the rest of the six-week series focusing on young people in debt. 

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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