How Credit Card Usage Differs by Generation

Younger Americans are racking up credit card debt faster than older generations.

In the time since the U.S. economy came to a pandemic-induced halt in the spring of 2020, their credit card debt has grown more on average, while older generations have seen reductions in average credit card debt balances, according to Experian.

As it turns out, it’s older generations that have been able to pay down more credit card debt in recent years.

The Silent Generation, born from 1928 to 1945, and baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, also have the highest average credit scores of any generation.

 Gen X Have Most Credit Cards on Average

Members of Gen Z held just half that—among those old enough to have credit cards, that is. (Gen Zers are ages 9 to 25 this year.)

The youngest adult consumers, ages 18 to 25, had an average of two credit cards each, with only a slight increase from 2021 and 2022.

Youngest Generations See Fastest Credit Card Balance Growth During Pandemic

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the credit card debt for Gen Z and millennials has grown at a faster rate than other generations.

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