Millennials in 30s Facing Highest Levels of Debt in History

Millennials in their 30s are now facing the highest levels of debt in history.[0] The Wall Street Journal reported that the debt held by 30-somethings is $140 billion higher than it was in the third quarter of 2022, and the last time that debt rose this quickly was between 2005 and 2008.[1] Credit card debt is also at an all-time high, with Americans collectively owing nearly $1 trillion as of the fourth quarter of 2022.[2]

The Federal Reserve's interest rate hike in March 2022 has exacerbated the problem, increasing payments on student and car loans, lines of credit, credit cards, and mortgages.[3] For those heavily leveraged, this can mean hundreds of dollars more a month.[4] The New York Fed Household Debt and Credit report revealed that US household debt rose by $394 billion in the last quarter of 2022, making it the largest quarterly rise in two decades.[5]

Stephanie Roth, a 41-year-old mother of three, is a perfect example of the financial struggle that many Americans are facing.[2] She works full-time as an administrative medical assistant, but the rising prices of childcare, gas, food, and clothes mean that her paycheck is almost gone before she even receives it.[6] To make up the difference, she had to start leaning on her credit card, with her balances rapidly growing. At the same time, her credit card company was raising its interest rate from 15% to 22%.[6]

The pandemic has certainly played a role in this situation, as the cost of living has soared. Jill Schlesinger, CBS news business analyst and author of The Great Money Reset, notes that Americans across the income stream had saved a lot of money prior to the pandemic.[6] But now, with the pandemic taking its toll, many are struggling to stay afloat, with millennials in their 30s hit particularly hard.

0. “Millennials are sinking under the weight of their debts, adding a record $3.8 trillion to the pile last quarter. Here’s what’s driving that — plus 3 tips to get your head above water” Yahoo Life, 7 Mar. 2023,

1. “Millennials in 30s struggling with debt, homeownership amid tough economy” Business Insider, 8 Mar. 2023,

2. “How we went from near record savings to record debt in just two years” MPR News, 8 Mar. 2023,

3. “Americans added a record $180 billion in credit card debt in 2022, experts worry even more could be added this year”, 9 Mar. 2023,

4. “US Consumers Are Getting Crushed by High-interest Debt and Inflation” Gold Seek, 9 Mar. 2023,

5. “Americans Are $1 Trillion In Credit Card Debt” Essence, 7 Mar. 2023,

6. “Credit Card Nation: How we went from record savings to record debt in just two years” Jefferson Public Radio, 8 Mar. 2023,

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