Out of one side of their mouths, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are appalled that today’s youth would dare take out loans for college. Some even cynically suggest they don’t attempt higher learning at all.
Out of the other, these same groups are equally bothered that Millennials are largely uninterested in credit cards. Some are baffled that Gen Yers would rather live at home with their parents to cut down on costs than consider a mortgage.
Everything else is entirely too risky. This shift in values and thinking has led to some interesting clashes in opinion.
What is behind the negative reaction by previous generations to what sort of debt Millennials value?
Blame it on a growing generation gap.
For boomers and even Gen Xers, credit cards and mortgages combined to give them access to the things that physically embodied the "American Dream".
Things like a nice house, new car, and being able to buy whatever stylish items they wanted "on credit".
Millennials are a generation that lived through the bubble collapsing as a result of unregulated borrowing and irresponsible spending by their parents and grandparents. As such, they simply aren't interested. Give them debit cards and leave them alone.
Let them wallow in the fact that they are paying back fifty thousand dollars in student loans for a degree for which they only discovered there are no jobs upon graduating.
But don’t worry too much about Millennials.
Even with their financial priorities shifted to student loans, they have already carefully considered the reality of a post-recession world.
It only makes sense as they are closer to ground zero than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.
They are weighing their options and making moves to be as financially responsible as possible.
That’s something older generations should be proud of. When the young learn from both their mistakes AND yours, that's a sign things are moving in the right direction.