Poll: Majority of millennials rely on parents for financial help

65 percent say parents helped them out after college

A recent poll finds 18-34 year olds, also known as millennials, are three times more likely to get help from their parents after graduation compared to what their parents say they got at the same age.

The poll from Bank of America and USA Today reports today’s job market is the best since the recession, but still 65 percent of millennials say their parents helped them out when they were just starting out, 40 percent are still getting financial help, including 20 percent of millennials who are in their 30s and married.

“I think parents have a little more empathy for challenges young people face because of workforce and are willing to be supportive for a longer period of time,” Andrew Plepler, of Bank of America, said.

Plepler said the survey shows parents don’t think of it as “mooching.” They’re willing to help, because it’s a tough economy with things like sky high housing costs and mounting student debt.

As of Friday, there were more than 82,000 jobs available in the state of Wisconsin. But even though these grads are getting jobs, the poll finds more than 30 percent of parents feel their child needs their financial help.

Erika Gasper graduated from college six months ago. Although it’s not in her field, she has a full-time job that she enjoys, but said even a 40-hour-week paycheck can’t cover all of her expenses.

“My parents pay for my car insurance and our cellphone bill,” Gasper said.

Gasper said she didn’t expect to need financial help from her parents when she graduated, but said she is sure glad they’re willing to help.

“With student loans, car payment, rent, utilities it just kind of gets over whelming.”

The Bank of America poll found the average student loan payment for millennials is more than $200, and because of that, 20 percent of millennials said they took a job they’re over qualified for just so they can make that payment.

“Having a car insurance payment and a cellphone payment would just be difficult,” Gasper said.

Bill Brockmiller works for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. He said in La Crosse and Monroe counties, there are roughly 1,700 jobs available right now, and in western Wisconsin, there are currently two industries hiring at a rapid rate.

“Construction and services are the big ones and services. It’s the part of services that we watch that’s kind of a catch all category. It includes all sorts of things like personal service to hair dressing to end of life services even,” Brockmiller said.

Gasper said most of her friends got jobs in their field right after college, and she does believe the job market looks promising right now. She is hopeful that soon, she won’t need her parents financial help, but until then, she is grateful for it and them.

“I love my parents,” Gasper said.

Gasper said in exchange for her parents’ help, she tries to get back home and help out around the house as much as possible. She said her parents help out her older sister now and then as well.

Financial experts suggest the biggest mistake graduates can make when it comes to student loan debt is waiting until you make more money when you’re older. They recommend at least starting to pay it off as soon as possible.