Posted by Katerin Gomez and Saman Kazmi on 27 Oct 2021
Ever wondered how many Zoomers are confused about their finances? With many newly entering the financial sector, about 28% deemed their generation “fiscally irresponsible.” Zoomers who are unsure how to handle their finances have started entering into the real world. Some are pondering student loans, while some are thinking of investing in the stock market. And some are even exploring home loans and much more. What exactly are these areas of interest for the older members of the Zoomer generation, and what are the statistics behind them? We explore this topic and the inputs of actual Zoomers here.
The average Zoomer holds $17,338 in student loans. To provide some context, the average tuition, fees, and room and board for the 2020-21 academic year increased by 1% to $22,180 for in-state students at four-year public colleges, according to the College Board. The same expenses at four-year private institutions rose by nearly 2% to an average of $50,770. The rise of college tuition, amongst other factors, means more students are looking to take out more loans. “My experience was okay. I had to take a loan when I was in college, so I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t like that they had all these interest charges,” said Kevin, recent Zoomer graduate and Software Development Engineer at Amazon.
If college students decide to continue their education at graduate school, their tuition will only increase, resulting in a likely need to get a higher loan amount. Neary 25% of student loan borrowers went to graduate school, and these students hold about half of all outstanding student debt. The average amount of student debt for an MBA student is $66,300, $71,000 for a master’s degree, $145,500 for a law degree, and $201,490 for a medical degree. Jamie, a graduate student at Montclair State University, said, “I needed to take out more loans for my master’s degree because I can’t afford to pay out of pocket for school by myself or even with the help of my parents; it’s too much.”
With a large number of Zoomers in high school and beyond, many are considering automobile ownership. Zoomers who did not have taking out loans (e.g., vehicle ownership) on their list of priorities previously now have surpassed millennials when it comes to doing just that. For auto dealers and lenders to approach Zoomers, they will need to come up with a more tech-savvy approach. With only 36% of Zoomers having auto loans just a few years ago, they don't want to end up in the same debt as their elders. Financial institutions need to focus on the goal of becoming debt-free when approaching Zoomers. Educating them and providing lessons will help a great deal since many do not intend to be in debt. However, they are just never taught how to prevent it.
Investing in Stocks
80% of Gen-Z investors surveyed by LendingTree's Magnify Money said they took out a loan to invest in stocks compared to 28% of Gen Xers and 9% of Baby Boomers. They are most likely to take out a personal loan, usually borrowing 5,000 or more. Zoomers are also educating each other on the importance of investing their money. 57% said they wanted to learn more about investing. Many use social media to get their financial investment advice from apps such as TikTok. The hashtag "#investing" on TikTok garners over 2.8 billion views. Many of these videos center around investing tips in stocks. The downside is that all of these sources are not necessarily reliable or accurate. “I’ve seen a lot of finance tips on TikTok, but not all of them are trustworthy because anyone could have posted it, so I think tips coming from banks [or credit unions] can be more reliable,” stated Stacy, a recent graduate from Montclair State University.
Investing in their future
When it comes to their biggest life purchases, such as buying a home, Zoomers want to hear from their banks and credit unions. The longer in duration and more personally meaningful the loan is, the higher levels of interaction, transparency, and access desired. Inadequate communication and effort throughout the loan application process can be perceived as a lack of interest from the bank or credit union.
Zoomers hold a 2% share of the housing market. It is important to note that within the next few years, this percentage will most likely increase. Building a better score is crucial for them, and with many financial institutions already offering free credit card reports, they should make sure Zoomers are aware as well. The main question now is how well these financial institutions are reaching out to the next generation of consumers, Zoomers. “Transparency is what we need. I didn’t know about the APR, so getting more context on how these loans are going to charge you will be helpful. The process of getting a loan was very simple, but the process of understanding how loans are given to you was a whole different story,” says Kevin.
From student loans to house loans, big expenses are coming up for the Zoomer generation. With many already taking advantage of low-interest rates and focusing on buying homes where the economy is growing, we can tell Zoomers also value rapid growth. With 64% of Zoomer’s getting financial information from YouTube, financial institutions must have a stronger social media and online presence. In order to step up their game and prepare for Zoomers, financial institutions must compare their basic principles to those of the Zoomers. After doing this, only then can they attract their upcoming customers and members. For Zoomers to be more confident about their finances, they need education from the direct source—their financial institutions.
Read more about Zoomers in Zoomer Generation’s Core Qualities and Values.
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