Wells Fargo Survey Shows American Millennials Optimistic About Their Financial Future

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Though the world economy is still weak, it seems that U.S. consumers view their own current economic conditions favourably. While most Americans' personal financial situation probably doesn't change dramatically from one year to the next, an improving economy and soaring stock market are likely help them feel better about their own situation. Now Wells Fargo & Company’s (NYSE: WFC) latest survey with Ipsos, “How America Buys and Borrows,” shows that millennials, ages 18-35, are feeling more optimistic about their finances, the future and most likely to buy a home in the next three years. This latest research of nearly 2,000 American adults aged 18 to 65 reflects strong optimism on the part of America’s youngest adult consumers, and that in general, consumers want to learn more about how credit works.

This positive outlook is a shift from last year when generations were more united than divided in their outlook. The survey asked people about their attitudes and perceptions of the current economy, financial situations and understanding of credit. Weighting of age, gender, education, diverse segments and income were applied to the results to achieve a nationally representative population. Now 82 percent of millennials believe their financial situation is stable to strong, while 90 percent say that they expect their personal financial situation will stay the same or get better a year from now. On the whole, 28 percent of millennials rate their current financial situation favourably, compared to 24 percent of the general population.

Wells Fargo released this data as part of its annual support of the American Bankers Association’s “Get Smart About Credit” campaign. Millennials are most likely to be in the process of refinancing their mortgage or buying an investment property, vacation home or new home for themselves. While nearly a third of millennials say they plan to buy a new home in the next three years, compared to 19 percent of their general population counterparts. However, more than half of respondents say borrowing money makes them uncomfortable; half report some level of discomfort with the payments they currently make to repay debt. Worryingly, a third grade their overall understanding of personal finances C, D or F, and only 41 percent grade their overall understanding of how credit scores work C, D or F. Tellingly, only 45 percent grade their overall understanding of credit and loan products C, D or F.

We know that good credit helps with more than borrowing. It can be a deciding factor into everything from getting a mortgage to renting an apartment or getting a cell phone. Lenders, landlords, utility providers and employers can all review credit reports when making decisions about us. So here are a few tips from Wells Fargo’s Smarter Credit™ Centre and its free financial education program, Hands on Banking® to help manage credit from:  monitor your finances regularly; know your credit limits; don’t make late payments; try to live with your means; and set up account and autopay alerts. 

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