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Discover Personal Loans Survey: Majority of Personal Loans Used by Financially Healthy Gen Xers and Boomers

June 22, 2016

RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Whether financing a major life event, handling an unplanned expense or consolidating debt, a personal loan can help provide consumers with control over their finances. In fact, people in solid financial standing agree. Sixty percent of those who have used a personal loan graded themselves as having good or excellent financial health, according to a survey commissioned by Discover Personal Loans.

Survey results also found that many who have used a personal loan in the past would consider using one again. More than half of those who have used a personal loan in the past and grade their overall financial health as excellent or good say they are very or somewhat interested in using a personal loan in the future.

“After seeing how beneficial personal loans can be, it’s not surprising that people in good financial health recognize the value in using them more than once,” said Dan Matysik, vice president of Discover Personal Loans. “A personal loan can be an effective option to help people simplify finances and take control of their financial future.”

The survey results show that Generation X, those between the ages of 35 to 54, and baby boomers, those ages 55 and older, use personal loans more than millennials, those ages 18 to 34:

  • 54 percent of baby boomers have used a personal loan
  • 49 percent of Gen Xers have used a personal loan
  • 36 percent of millennials have used a personal loan

The majority of Gen Xers, 61 percent, and baby boomers, 67 percent, picked a personal loan because of the interest rate, followed by the trustworthiness of the lender, according to the survey.

When asked to rank several categories for which they would most likely use a personal loan, 53 percent of respondents said they would use one for a major life event or purchase such as a wedding or car, 31 percent said they would use it for debt consolidation or something else, and 17 percent said they would use it for an unplanned expenditure like a major medical expense.

“When it comes to a personal loan, everyone’s situation is different. Personal loans are a flexible financial tool that can be tailored to fit a borrower’s individual needs,” said Matysik.

About the Survey

The national survey of 2,000 adults was commissioned by Discover Personal Loans and conducted by Rasmussen Reports, an independent survey research firm (http://www.rasmussenreports.com), March 11- 15, 2016. The margin of sampling error was+/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence, except for questions 13-17 for which the margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.

Survey Results From Rasmussen Reports

         
    Total   Have you ever take out a personal loan?
  Adults   Yes   No   Not sure
    Excellent/Good   58%   60%   58%   49%

How would you grade your overall financial health?

  Excellent   15%   14%   16%   11%
Good 43% 46% 42% 38%
Fair 30% 30% 30% 35%
Poor 10% 10% 11% 11%
  Not sure   1%   0%   1%   5%
         
    Total   Age
  Adults   18-34   35-54   55+
Have you ever take out a personal loan?   Yes   47%   36%   49%   54%
No 48% 58% 47% 39%
  Not sure   5%   6%   4%   7%
         
Answered By Those Who have taken a personal loan - 998 Adults   Total   Have you ever take out a personal loan?
  Adults   Yes   No   Not sure
Based on your experience with personal loans, how interested would you be in using the same kind of loan for similar purposes in the future?   Very interested 21% 21% 0%   0%
Somewhat interested 33% 33% 0% 0%
Not very interested 23% 23% 0% 0%
Not at all interested 19% 19% 0% 0%
  Not sure   4%   4%   0%   0%
         
    Total   How would you grade your overall financial health?
  Adults   Excellent   Good   Fair   Poor   Not sure
    Very/Somewhat   53%   53%   52%   57%   46%   22%
Based on your experience with personal loans, how interested would you be in using the same kind of loan for similar purposes in the future?   Very interested   21%   31%   19%   18%   20%   0%
Somewhat interested 33% 22% 33% 39% 26% 22%
Not very interested 23% 18% 27% 21% 21% 0%
Not at all interested 19% 24% 18% 16% 29% 78%
  Not sure   4%   6%   3%   6%   4%   0%
     
    Total
  Adults
For which one of these large expenses would you be most likely to use a personal installment loan?   Auto purchase   31%
Debt consolidation 11%
Home improvement project 12%
Major medical expense 17%
Vacation 2%
Wedding 2%
School tuition 6%
Something else 5%
  Not sure   15%
         
Answered By Those Who have taken a personal loan - 998 Adults   Total   Age
  Adults   18-34   35-54   55+
What was most important factor to you when choosing your lender for your personal loan?   Interest Rate   61%   53%   61%   67%
Fees 5% 5% 5% 3%
Trustworthiness of lender 17% 14% 15% 20%
Ease of application 4% 5% 6% 3%
Loan amount 7% 16% 7% 2%
Something else 5% 5% 6% 4%
  Not sure   1%   3%   1%   1%

Source: Discover Financial Services

Discover Financial Services

Rob Weiss

224-405-6304

robertweiss@discover.com

@Discover_News