You may be surprised at which generation has the most credit card debt

The survey, which asked 1,000 credit card holders in the United States about their credit preferences and habits and this generation had the most debt.

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American credit card holders are holding a lot of debt.

With daily expenses and rising interest costs, credit card holders are struggling with debt. Sixty percent of American cardholders hold debt that averages at $5,937, according to a new survey conducted by The Ascent by The Motley Fool.

The survey, which asked 1,000 credit card holders in the United States about their credit preferences and habits, found that Baby Boomers held the most debt at an average of $6,800 while Millennials, surprisingly, held only $5,453 in debt. It was the lowest of the three generations observed in the study.

The generation with the most credit card debt was Gen Xers, with almost 68% of the generation owing money to a card.

The debt factors haven’t stopped Americans from considering another credit card option. Nearly one in every four Americans admitted they planned to open a new card within the next year, according to the survey.

Those planning on opening a new card are most likely to be looking at cash back rewards. Almost 60% said they owned a cash back card while 40% used a retail or store-specific card.

Although rewards are sweet, over 60% of respondents said that wasn’t their first priority for owning a credit card. Most wanted to build a credit history, especially Millennials (72%) while more than half (58%) said it was good to have in emergency situations. The least popular reason for having a card was for its status perks.


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Kyle Schnitzer|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at kschnitzer@theladders.com.