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The financial challenges of the millennial generation

Much has been written about the financial challenges faced by members of the millennial generation in Virginia and around the country. The media often focuses on student loan debt when covering this issue, and studies have found that even millennials earning $75,000 per year or more sometimes fear that they will not be able to pay off their tuition bills. Research reveals that two out of three millennials have at least one source of long-term debt, and many of them make basic financial mistakes that can make escaping debt far more difficult.

Like their parents and grandparents before them, many members of the millennium generation enter the workforce ill-prepared for the financial realities of adult life. Life was simpler when baby boomers came of age, but today's young people are expected to make prudent decisions despite being faced with a bewildering array of financial choices. Experts suggest that millennials should refrain from making any major financial decisions until they have assessed their debts, analyzed their incomes and expenditures and put some sort of rudimentary budget into place.

Another pitfall for millennials to avoid is using most or all of their disposable income to pay down their debts. While reducing debt is generally a financially prudent strategy, some income should be saved to ensure that basic necessities can be covered during times of need. Failing to save leaves millennials financially vulnerable, and an illness, injury or layoff could leave them with little choice but to use credit cards or other high-cost forms of borrowing to buy food or pay their utility bills.

Many millennials struggling with unmanageable bills choose not to pursue their debt relief options because they believe that student loans cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy. While this is often true, these debts may sometimes be included in a bankruptcy if meeting the payments required could cause undue financial hardship. Attorneys with experience in this area may explain how filing a bankruptcy is a way to stop creditor harassment, and they could also address many of the numerous myths surrounding debt relief.

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