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Baby boomers have an average of $25,812 of debt, not including mortgages—here's how they compare to other generations

New Experian data finds that baby boomers have an average of $25,812 in credit card, auto loan and student loan debt.

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You might think that baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964 according to Pew Research Center) would be past their debt-carrying years. After all, more than 28 million boomers retired in 2020, a major increase compared to previous years, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike younger generations, who are still working, covering child-care expenses and buying homes at higher rates, today's retirees are trying to navigate how to live off of their savings and investments during a time when the stock market is particularly volatile.

But not everyone who retires does so debt-free, however ideal it may sound. Recent data from the Federal Reserve shows that older consumers are carrying debt well into retirement, including mortgages, car loans, personal loans and even credit card balances.

So how is all that debt impacting the average boomer's credit score? According to Experian's 2020 State of Credit report, the average boomer has a 716 VantageScore®, which is considered to be good and/or prime.

Boomers carry an average credit card balance of $6,747 and $25,812 in total nonmortgage debt (including credit cards, store cards, personal loans and other nonmortgage accounts). They have a 3.2% delinquency rate for accounts 90 to 180 days past due.

Boomer homeowners carry an average mortgage debt of $191,650.

Here's a full break down of Experian's 2020 findings by generation:

2020 State of Credit Findings

2020 findings by generation Gen Z (ages 24 and younger) Millennials / Gen Y (ages 25 to 40) Gen X (ages 41 to 56) Boomers (ages 57 to 74) Silent (ages 75 and above)
Average VantageScore® 654658676716729
Average number of credit cards1.642.663.33.452.78
Average credit card balance$2197$4651$7718$6747$3988
Average revolving utilization rate30%30%32%24%13%
Average number of retail credit cards1.642.12.592.632.21
Average retail credit card balance$1124$1871$2353$2100$1558
Average non-mortgage debt$10942$27251$32878$25812$12869
Average mortgage debt$172561$232372$245127$191650$159517
Average 30–59 days past due delinquency rates1.60%2.70%3.30%2.20%1.20%
Average 60–89 days past due delinquency rates1.00%1.50%1.80%1.20%0.70%
Average 90–180 days past due delinquency rates2.50%4.40%5.30%3.20%1.90%

How to get out of debt

Baby boomers may feel more pressure than younger generations to pay off their accounts before old age, especially if you're planning to live on a more limited income of Social Security and retirement savings.

If debt keeps you up at night, start to make a plan to pay it off. Start by pulling your free credit report and sign up for a free credit monitoring service so you have a clear picture of just how much you owe.

CreditWise® from Capital One shows an overview of all your credit card and loan balances, and it's available to anyone whether they have a Capital One credit card or not. An alternative is Experian free credit monitoring, which is helpful for tracking your balances as you devise your debt payoff plan.

Need to pay off debt?: Follow this plan to achieve financial freedom, according to a financial expert who paid off $87,000

With mortgage rates at a historic low, it's important to remember that not all debt is created equal. If you feel overwhelmed by your various debts, start by tackling the highest-interest debt first and find ways to lower the APR on other balances. You could consider refinancing your home to save on your mortgage payment, or look into a balance transfer credit card so you can pay your credit cards off interest-free for a period of up to 20 months.

Best 0% APR credit cards for balance transfers

One low-cost way to get out of debt is to complete a balance transfer. Move debt from high-interest credit card(s) over to one that offers no interest for a certain length of time. You'll pay a small fee (usually 3% of the balance), but you're bound to save a lot more than you would pay in interest charges.

Balance transfer cards often have set maximum limits on how much debt you can transfer, so make sure to read the fine print before you apply. You also can't complete a transfer between cards issued from the same bank.

You'll need good or excellent credit (scores 670 and greater) to be a competitive applicant for balance transfer cards, especially during the current pandemic when many financial institutions have tightened their lending. The average baby boomer is well within this credit score range, but every application is evaluated individually and there are no guarantees for approval. Check your odds of getting approved ahead of time if you're concerned.

Here are some of the best 0% APR cards for balance transfers.

Intro 0% APR for 20 months

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Information about the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 20 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2% to 3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 20 months of no interest on balance transfers and purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Cell phone protection plan

Cons

  • No rewards program
  • 2% to 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Balances must be transferred within 60 days from account opening
  • Transfer timeline: Balances must be transferred within 60 days from account opening
  • Estimated total fees and interest on debt repayment: $388

Intro 0% APR for 18 months

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card
On Citi's secure site
  • Rewards

    2% cash back: 1% on all purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill

  • Welcome bonus

    No current offer

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases

  • Regular APR

    13.99% - 23.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    3%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Simple cash-back program that doesn't require activation or spending caps
  • One of the longest intro periods for balance transfers at 18 months

Cons

  • No welcome bonus, so you can’t maximize rewards during the first few months of card opening
  • Minimum cash-back redemption of $25
  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $443
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,213

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
Information about the Citi Simplicity® Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    14.74% to 24.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 18 months of no interest on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Balances can be transferred within 4 months from account opening

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No rewards program
  • Transfer timeline: Balances must be transferred within 4 months from account opening
  • Estimated total fees and interest on debt repayment: $595

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

Wells Fargo Platinum Card
Information about the Wells Fargo Platinum Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    This card doesn't earn cash back, points or miles

  • Welcome bonus

    No current offer

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    16.49% to 24.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Introductory fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for 120 days, then 5% ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Long intro 0% APR period for purchases and balance transfers

Cons

  • No rewards program
  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions
  • Transfer timeline: Balances must be transferred within 120 days from account opening

Intro 0% APR for 15 months

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa®  card
Information about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    1.5% cash rewards on every purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    14.49% to 24.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Introductory fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for 120 days, then 5% ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Use your Wells Fargo Debit or ATM card to redeem rewards for cash at Wells Fargo ATMs ($20 increments)
  • Long intro 0% APR period for purchases and balance transfers
  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons

  • Below average 1.5% cash back
  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $482
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,809

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus and assumes you use eligible mobile wallets for 75% of purchases your first year.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Information about the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% introductory APR for the first 15 months that your account is open

  • Regular APR

    15.49% to 25.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases and 2% at grocery stores
  • Ability to redeem rewards at any amount, unlike some other cards with $25 minimums
  • Competitive special financing offer on both new purchases and balance transfers
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • 3% fee for promotional balance transfer offers
  • Only consumers with good to excellent credit typically qualify
  • Estimated cash back earned after 1 year: $546
  • Estimated cash back earned after 5 years: $1,932

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.