Gen Z Is Accumulating Credit Card Debt Faster Than Other Gens: Report

  • Gen Z is chalking up credit card debt faster than any other generation, a Credit Karma report says.
  • It’s also the only group to see an increase in debt that’s more than 30 days overdue.
  • The report comes amid persistently high inflation and Gen Z’s love for luxury goods.

Gen Z is growing up and entering the workforce in an era of high inflation — and it shows on their credit card bills.

Those in Generation Z — born between 1997 and 2012 — are racking up credit card debt faster than any other generation, according to a March 16 report from Credit Karma, a California-based personal finance company.

The report is based on data collected on January 6 from 78.2 million Credit Karma users ranging from those in the Silent Generation to Gen Z. 

Gen Z Americans racked up $2,781 worth of average credit card debt in the fourth quarter of 2022. Although Gen Z’s credit card debt was the lowest among all five generations tracked, it grew at the fastest pace of around 6% in comparison to the three months through May 2022. 

They also saw the highest pace of increase in average total debt as they racked up $16,283 in dues over the last quarter of 2022 — a 3% increase over the three months to May 2022.

Millennials, meanwhile, had average credit card debt of $5,898 in the last quarter of 2022. That’s up around 5% from March to May 2022. Gen X — those born between 1965 and 1980 — owed $8,266 worth in credit card debt, but this was just under a 4 percentage point increase over the same period.

While Gen Z has a small amount of total debt among all generations, they are the only generation to see an increase in past-due accounts. This includes credit card, mortgage, student loans, medical loans, auto lease, or auto loan accounts that are overdue by more than 30 days, per Credit Karma.

Credit Karma’s report comes as the luxury market looks to tap Gen Z spenders as more in the cohort gain spending power. 

A record number of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 are choosing to live at home with their parents — at a level not seen since the Great Depression — thus freeing up disposable income for splashing out on luxury goods, Insider’s Nidhi Pandurangi reported in December.