Millennials and Their Money

Words By: Kirra Martin

The struggle is real for millennials, from the rising cost of college tuition, lack of financial literacy to the amount of student loan debt, millennials are facing many financial difficulties. According to a 2014 study by The Council of Economic Advisors conducted by the White House, student loan debt is increasing.

“The Total student outstanding loan debt surpassed $1 trillion by the end of the second quarter of 2014, making it the second largest category of household debt.” The report also noted, “ In part, this increase in the aggregate level of outstanding student debt is due to greater enrollment among Millennials.”

President Obama implemented resources by signing the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which made significant changes to the Affordable Care Act and student loan reform. However with those changes in effect, millennials still suffer with economical stability.

James E. Crandall Jr, a customer sales representative of Wells Fargo says, some of the financial problems millennials face is due to their lack of financial literacy.

“Millennials only care about finances if it directly affects them. They only become interested in savings accounts or credit cards if they need extra money.” Crandall then added, “ Many of them are looking for instant gratification. They don’t know about financial literacy, because it wasn’t discussed in their homes.”

Former BBT Banking Associate, Shamarri Hartzog says that some millennials are unsure if they should open accounts with banks due to mistrust.

“Some of my former customers were skeptical about even opening an account with the bank because of previous experiences.” She then added, “They were scared to trust the bank, and therefore, they weren’t interested in a financial advisor or even a bank account at that.”

While millennials are excellent at saving in comparison to their counterparts, they are more reluctant to invest in the stock market. According to a survey commissioned by stash, millennials are 80 percent less likely to invest, which could be due to their lack of understanding of the market. This is a risky move for millennials if they plan to have funds for retirement.

According to Breshell Smith, a service representative of Wells Fargo, it would be a good idea to implement more classes in universities that teach incoming students about personal finance management and financial literacy.”

“Millennials don’t invest, like other generations  because they don’t know what to invest in,” she said.

“If universities like Florida A&M are willing to offer classes that can help with that it would be great, or even adding more financial workshops, I think it would raise awareness.”

Economist fear if millennials don’t become more involved with their financial stability, they could face worsening financial conditions.

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