Millennials rack up more debt from pets, vets than any other generation

Young pet owners are running up more debt caring for their cuddly companions than any previous generation.

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A recent LendingTree study showed that 42% of millennials have been in pet-related debt, and one in 10 are still paying it off. The largest generation in U.S. history, millennials are using credit for pet care more than their predecessors mostly because of medical emergencies.

“Nearly one in five pet owners spend more than $1,000 annually on their pet,” LendingTree said. “If a $1,000 pet-related emergency expense were to come up tomorrow, 37 percent would turn to a credit card.”

It should be no surprise, then, that millennials have racked up a sizeable amount of credit card debt. Another study from Northwestern Mutual found they owe an average $28,000 on cards.

“Despite the financial strain -- and the fact that 36% of pet owners regret paying for the expense that caused their debt -- 77% of those who have had pet debt would still consider getting another animal,” LendingTree said.

Millennials also face ballooning student loan debt. In the first quarter of 2019, the average millennial borrower owed $34,504 for schooling, according to Experian.

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FOX Business' Frank J. Connor contributed to this report.