A new TransUnion study found that the consumer loan wallet – the composition of loans that people typically carry – has materially changed for both the youngest and oldest segments of the population during the last decade.
The study found that student loans have left the greatest imprint on those consumers ages 20-29, with their share of the consumer wallet nearly tripling in the last nine years. In 2005, student loans made up 12.9% of the total loan balance share for this age group. This percentage increased to 21.1% in 2009 and surged to 36.8% in 2014. For the purposes of this study, all yearly data points reflect data as of March 31 of each year.
The consumer loan wallet is defined by breaking down the average total borrowing of consumers in different age tiers by the average percentage of that total balance in each loan type, including mortgage, auto, card, HELOC, student loan, and all other loan types.
“The mortgage crisis and recession had a profound impact on the country, with many consumers still feeling the effects today,” said Charlie Wise, vice president in TransUnion’s Innovative Solutions Group. “Interestingly, our study found that the recession has had a lasting impact on two disparate groups – those consumers in their 20s and those ages 60 or higher – though in very different ways. While these groups differ greatly in their borrowing levels and wallet share compositions, we also believe their borrowing and wallet shares were likely impacted by each other. With unemployment rates remaining high for a prolonged period during the last six years, 20-somethings likely looked to their parents, grandparents, and other more financially established family and friends for financial support.”