While there is growing awareness of the importance of consumer credit use for the broader economy, less is understood about the full context of borrowers’ balance sheets and how financial challenges change over a credit user’s lifecycle. Responding to this knowledge gap, this report takes a comparative look at the use of credit among Third Federal Reserve District residents across three age groups (18 to 34, 35 to 54, and 55 to 84 years). Combining analysis of credit bureau data with insights from interviews with housing and credit counselors, this report provides a comprehensive overview of key consumer credit issues and their impact on the financial well-being of consumers in each age group.

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