FICO Survey:

Only A Third of Gen X Believe They Will Attain Their Long-Term Financial Objectives

The most recent FICO research on consumer finance trends has discovered that just 32% of Gen X (consumers age 38-52) believes that they will attain their long-term financial objectives. Debt and savings were also another concern uncovered about Generation X. At least 41% feel they need to save more money for their future and 26% are concerned about their current debt load.


VP of credit lifecycle business line at FICO, Tim Van Tassel stated that Gen X is concerned about their future. The survey reveals real anxiety regarding savings and debt levels following the recession in 2008. This “sandwich generation” is caught in the middle of having to care for kids as well as aging parents. Van Tessel went on to say that these obstacles present a genuine concern about having enough to retire.


The survey clearly showed that Gen X was the least confident about attaining their long-term financial objectives (32%); Older Millennials were more confident at 45%; Boomers at (36%) and younger Millennials were most confident at 46%.


Even with this data, Gen X has experienced a change in their attitude in the past year. Just 18% have an interest in getting help to manage their debt, which is down from 24% in the previous survey. Furthermore, the concern about their debt load has decreased significantly with just 26% showing concern today as opposed to 36% in the previous survey.


Analysis of Gen X done by FICO on their own FICO Score indicates that a number of them are focused on improving their financial status. The U.S economy has been improving over the last year and 29% of Generation X have raised their FICO score by at least 20 points. This represents a 10% increase over the rest of the population.


Van Tassel pointed out that a central group of Gen Xers is improving their score by paying down debt, but is a challenge for most people in this age group. The survey revealed that they were dealing with a decrease in real income while having to deal with high credit card debt. Cross-selling more products to this group isn’t going to be effective as they are looking for personalized and intelligent recommendations that will actually help them improve their financial situation.


The survey also revealed that Gen X had a 12% dissatisfaction rating for their primary bank, which was the highest rate recorded, with 67% having negative customer experiences and 72% felt negative about fees. These are the main factors that will cause the Gen X customer to switch banks.


Van Tessel noted that it is critical for lenders to examine how Gen Xers are engaged across the credit lifecycle. This means financial institutions should focus on eliminating apathy. Build trust by giving them financial solutions and products that are actually helpful and give them an effective way to deal with debt before they go to a competitor. Innovators in the industry are using analysis to develop and offer creative solutions tailored made for them, which will create repeat business and minimize churn.


In February and March 2017, FICO commissioned a survey online of approximately 1,000 U.S. consumers 17 years and older. Age and region were used to weight the data to reflect the data from the U.S. Census.

Our experience as debt collection attorneys has revealed that many Gen X’ers require a different type of conversation when it comes to collecting debt.  What motivated the generations before them, does not consistently motivate them today.  Understanding your debtor is a key to successful debt collection.  Of course, when reasonable debt collection efforts fail, the court system is where, regardless of demographic, creditors go to get the money they are owed.

For help in any collection matter in the State of Florida, don’t hesitate to call the Florida Collection Attorneys at Marcadis Singer, PA.



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