Twenty-seven-year-old Omaha, Nebraska, resident Erin Duffy has never had — or even wanted — a credit card.
"I’ve been able to get along without it," she says, attributing the choice to ambivalence and a wariness of plastic her parents fostered in her during her formative years. "I’ve liked being able to pay for things as I go, not having to worry about missing a bill."
Duffy’s decision to live without credit cards is more common than you may think. A whopping 63 percent of millennials (ages 18 to 29) don’t have a credit card, according to a survey commissioned by Bankrate and compiled by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
Comparatively, only 35 percent of adults 30 and over don’t have credit cards.
There are, admittedly, external factors influencing the statistics. An April 2014 Gallup poll found Americans’ reliance on credit cards, in general, has declined steadily since the Great Recession. Moreover, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, or CARD Act, made it harder for anyone under 21 to get a credit card.
There’s also a more straightforward reason why a majority of millennials aren’t carrying the payment method: Many, like Duffy, just don’t want credit cards.
"I don’t really feel like there’s a need for one in the way I live my life," says Melissa Pileiro, a 24-year-old resident of Vineland, New Jersey. "The idea with a credit card is you’re essentially putting money down that you don’t have."
Like many members of her demographic, Pileiro is perfectly content with her debit card, a payment method whose existence has eaten into the credit card’s market share.
Millennials “grew up in a world where the economy was tanking,” says David Pommerehn, senior counsel with the Consumer Bankers Association. “There was great concern about jobs and debts and paying off bills.”
If you weren’t following #Ferguson on Twitter last night, you missed out. The city commission had a meeting where they tried to tell the people they couldn’t talk, but were eventually shouted down. So the All-White-Except-One city council sat there, gave people three minutes to speak, and said nothing, responded to nothing, and did nothing.
A couple of highlights:
A man arrested for peacefully protesting spoke up and said “I’ve done more jail time than Darren Wilson.”
“If Darren Wilson doesn’t get justice, you might as well bring back the army, because it’s going to be chaos,” said another.
ESPN E60 reportedly had a story about a football player from Ferguson who reported a harassment incident with Darren Wilson a week before Mike Brown. (Looked for more reports of this today and don’t see any. Sent a few messages to journalists who were covering Ferguson.)
Several people talked about how the “justice” system (more like “jüstice” system) in Ferguson routinely harasses and exploits people.
The whole thing seemed very organized, with people telling the council (paraphrased): “You’ve done nothing for us, and that’s why you’ve got a murder on your hands. Now we’re coming for you [meaning the various seats on the council]” with one woman in particular saying to the woman pictured above, “We’re coming for your seat first.”
“I have 3 minutes to tell you I am ashamed of every single one of you.”