Although Millennials show slightly less economic stability and earn less money than Generation X, they typically borrow less than their immediate elders.

That’s according to a report from FactorTrust, a provider of “under-banked” consumer data, analytics and credit scoring – much of it from non-traditional sources.    

Millennials, or Generation Y, 18 to 34, now make up the largest and most diverse generation in the U.S. population, and account for 33% of FactorTrust’s database of under-banked consumers.

The group’s tendency to borrow less could in part stem from student-loan debts many Millennials carry, FactorTrust says. It cites an average college-related debt of $29,400.

Although credit cards are a financial way of life for many people, 63% of Millennials don’t have one.

“There is a great deal of opportunity surrounding alternative-lending options for Millennials, as studies show they are less loyal to financial institutions than previous generations,” says FactorTrust CEO Greg Rable. 

“This also means competition for these consumers’ business is fierce, making understanding this generation’s loan behaviors and economic stability all the more important,” he says.

Key findings of his firm’s “Millennial Edition” index:

  • Millennials make about $800 less per month on average than Gen Xers.
  • The average monthly income of Millennial borrowers was $2,450 in 2013 and $2,351 in 2014. For Gen X, it was $3,315 and $3,108.
  • The average Millennial loan of $467 is $120 less than that of the Gen-X average.
  • Millennials move more often, but they change employers at a rate of three percentage points lower than Gen X.
  • 29.4% of Millennial borrowers changed bank accounts in the span of six months to a year, compared with 28.3% of Generation X borrowers.

Many members of both Generation Y and X came of age during economic downturns, although the one the Millennials faced in 2008 and 2009 was more severe than the recession of the early 1980s. 

Gen Xers originally were called “slackers” because many of them didn’t readily get jobs. In retrospect, that had more to do with a tight job market rather than youthful indolence.

When Millennials didn’t race to dealerships to buy vehicles a few years ago, some social commentators dubbed them as showing an unprecedented lack of interest in car ownership.

Today, Gen Ys delayed entry into the car market is seen as having less to do with automotive apathy and more to do with an initial lack of financial wherewithal to purchase such a big-ticket product.

Millennials now are avid car buyers. Accordingly, much automotive product planning and marketing focuses on them.