Study Finds College-age Millennials Hopeful for the Future, Worry about Student Loans and Overspending

BMH-Logo Offers Free Financial Education Resources Can Help

CHARLOTTE – A recent Bank of America/USA TODAY Better Money Habits Millennial Report found that even though a large majority (80 percent) of college-age millennials (ages 18-25) surveyed across the country believe they will be “better off” or “the same” as their parents, and two-thirds say they have good financial habits, large numbers still worry about the cost of student loans/college education (33 percent) and spending beyond their means (36 percent).

Overspending, Student Loan Worries

College-age millennials have a lot on their minds when it comes to studying and choosing career paths that will set the stage for their financial and professional futures, but they’re also carrying concerns about their ability to spend only within their means and increasing worries around student loan debt and saving for the future. In fact, 61 percent of 18-25 year olds say it’s very difficult for people their age to live within their means. Additionally, 49 percent say student loan debt is having “a lot” or “some” impact on their ability to spend or save right now.

Information and tips on personal budgeting, paying down student loans and navigating other financial issues are available at, a free and objective financial education resource.

In Careers, Passion over Paycheck

Despite the fact that today’s college-age millennials have come of age in the aftermath of the financial crisis, they are incredibly hopeful for the future, with optimistic, passion-driven views. Though a large majority (75 percent) of millennials ages 18-25 said that when deciding what to study in school, income was “very” or “somewhat” important, the report results indicate that less than half (38 percent) actually believe that salary is more important than doing what you love. When asked about the annual salary that college-age millennials believed they need to feel successful, a similar number reported needing less than $40,000 a year (21 percent) as reported needing more than $100,000 a year to feel the successful (25 percent).

Get free guidance on saving and planning for the future at, including how to create a safety net for life’s unexpected events, saving for a large purchase and how to make your money grow through compound interest.

Finding Solutions: Better Money Habits

No matter where you are in your college life – as a freshman just starting school and looking to make a budget or as a senior approaching graduation and starting to pay off student loans – setting goals can help. For those who want a resource to help better understand personal finance topics, Bank of America and education innovator Khan Academy have partnered to develop, a free, objective education resource that offers content and tools for anyone, anywhere. The site is designed with the key needs of the user in mind and includes content that specifically addresses topics most important to millennials.

About the Bank of America/USA TODAY Better Money Habits Millennial Report
The Bank of America/USA TODAY Better Money Habits Millennial Report was conducted online among 1,001 adults during the period of October 9 – October 20, 2014 by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communication, using GfK’s KnowledgePanel®, a statistically representative sample source used to yield results that are projectable to the American population. To qualify, millennials had to be 18 to 34 years old, of which 477 respondents were in the college-age, 18-25 years old age group. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Better Money Habits
Bank of America has made a substantial commitment to address the need for better financial literacy by partnering with Khan Academy – a nonprofit with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Together, they’ve developed, a free, objective online financial resource that pairs Khan Academy’s expertise in online learning with the financial expertise of Bank of America. The customizable experience breaks down concepts and provides practical, actionable steps to strengthen the connection between financial knowledge and behavior.

Media Contact
Tara Burke