MarketWatch economics correspondent Steve Goldstein explores "Why boomers are loading up on debt and millennials aren’t."
Goldstein taps into a new Federal Reserve Bank of New York analysis that notes that debt in the hands of Americans between 50 and 80 years of age has increased by 59% since 2003, while the aggregate debt of those age 39 dropped by 12%. Seeking reasons, Goldstein notes:
The New York Fed report stresses that the rising debt for older Americans isn’t necessarily a bad thing — from a separate survey, they note the net worth of households with heads aged 65 or older is similar in 2013 and 2004 and 2007, so the rising debt is balanced by rising assets. The other point is retirement-aged consumers historically repay their debts at higher rates than younger borrowers.
The issue is, the NY Fed report news, young people can't borrow, which means they're less able to land a mortgage.