It’s no secret that today’s 20- and 30-somethings are skittish about the financial system.
Watching their parents and grandparents lose a big chunk of their retirement savings during the Great Recession has not exactly endeared them to the stock market. And they’re wary of asking financial advisers, for, well, financial advice, and instead turn to apps, blogs and social clubs.
But that fear apparently doesn’t extend to the alternative financial system. More than 40% of millennials used a payday loan, pawnshop, tax refund advance or other alternative financial product in the past five years, according to a survey of more than 5,000 millennials released Thursday by tax and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at George Washington University.
Though it’s hard to see exactly how this rate compares with the general population, it’s pretty clear young people aren’t alone in availing themselves of these products. Nearly the same percentage (39%) of U.S. households used at least one alternative financial service, according to a 2013 survey from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.