A significant 68% of U.S. adults feel they have suffered from, or are currently suffering from, financial trauma according to new research released today by Experian.
The research sheds light on the prevalence of negative feelings and angst “related to financial matters, with approximately 65% of adults admitting to experiencing negative thoughts, flashbacks and anxiety when dealing with financial issues.”
Financial stress among younger generations
Younger generations, namely Gen Z adults and millennials, “stand out regarding their reported levels of stress and financial anxiety, with 73% of Gen Zers and 77% of millennials experiencing negative thoughts, flashbacks and/or anxiety about money.”
The survey revealed a lack of discussion “about money growing up and limited access to trustworthy information about finances as possible” contributing factors to financial stress:
- More than half (51%) stated their family rarely or never spoke about finances.
This lack of discussion left 43% of those who rarely or never spoke about finances growing up feeling like they never learned about financial planning and 42% stating they never learned to use credit or build their credit scores.
- A concerning 37% of adults are unaware of where to access trustworthy information about financial literacy.
Christina Roman, Consumer Education and Advocacy Manager at Experian, said:
“Small steps can make a big difference in helping consumers feel less financially stressed and live more financially empowered lives. Our goal is to normalize conversations about money and financial stress and connect consumers with the financial education and resources necessary to help bring financial power to all.”
Education and planning key to reducing financial stress
Experian’s research underscores adults’ eagerness “to improve their financial well-being.”
More than half (55%) expressed “that access to more financial education would help alleviate their financial stressors, and 45% believe establishing a more concrete financial plan for their future would reduce their financial anxieties.”
These sentiments were particularly strong “for America’s youngest consumers, with 74% of Gen Zers and 75% of millennials stating that more financial education would reduce financial stress.”
Experian is committed to partnering with organizations “dedicated to helping consumers navigate and overcome financial challenges, including the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).”
Bruce McClary, Senior Vice President, NFCC, said:
“We recognize many consumers are feeling the effects of financial trauma and stress. Whether a consumer is struggling with debt or recovering from a financial setback, financial knowledge can help consumers confidently manage their current situation and prepare for their future. We can help consumers make informed decisions about the solutions that may be best for their unique situation.”