Gen-Y’s credit ratings slide

Could a spike in credit defaults from Gen Y be part of the housing crisis?

13 March 2013

More of Australia’s new generation of first home buyers are living with credit defaults and a consumer advocate for accurate credit reporting says this could be a contributing factor in Australia’s dim first home buyer figures – with Gen Y facing credit lockdown in increasing numbers.

According to a recent report from credit reporting agency Veda Advantage, the number of credit defaults amongst Gen Y has grown 5.3% over the past three years to 60% of the share of all credit defaults.

Veda says Gen Y has the lion’s share of defaults across all account types – telecommunications, credit cards, utilities and personal loans. The biggest pain is telco bills – with Gen Y responsible for 62% of these kinds of defaults, compared to Baby Boomers (13%) and Gen X (22%).[i]

Figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm first home buyer commitments as a percentage of total owner occupied housing finance commitments fell to 14.9% in December 2012 from 15.8% in November 2012.[ii]

CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repair, Graham Doessel says goals for owning property may be far out of Gen Y’s grasp.

“The older portion of Gen Y should be collectively entering the property market, but it seems more are suffering with 5 years of credit defaults and unable to even get a mobile phone plan let alone a home loan,” he says.

Mr Doessel says education and advocacy is the key to helping Gen Y out of the credit crunch as he says they are only a product of the credit environment they were born into.

“There is a real lack of education around credit issues and credit reporting and this has been a problem for some time. Many Gen Ys had credit thrown at them in their younger years pre -GFC and now they are feeling the ramifications of credit overload.”

“On the back of this, has been a noted lack of consistency in credit reporting and this has led to a number of inaccurate and unfair credit defaults placed on consumer credit reports. It is high time that consumers and their advocates insist on accurate credit reporting if we are going to have any chance of moving the housing industry forward,” he says.

Find more information on credit issues and credit defaults on MyCRA’s website