Bankruptcy filings continue their downward trend in 2015. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute bankruptcy filings in Wisconsin and across the nation are down.

In 2014, there were 20,672 filings of which 76% were Chapter 7s.

In 2015, there were 18,455 filings of which 73% were Chapter 7s.

Is it because the “millennial” generation is better at saving money and using credit then previous generations? Could be. According to CNBC, debt, credit scores and financial guidance are among the top concerns for this generation. In an article written by Sarah Whitten, entitled This is the biggest financial worry for millennials, @sarahwhit10 finds that a quarter of millennials shy away from credit cards believing that the cards will worsen their financial standing. Those that do use cards do so to build credit and increase their financial flexibility.

I think the most striking thing about this article is that 57% of millennials would prefer to pay with cash than credit. I have always understood that the responsible use of credit cards is the best way to recover your credit and build credit.

I think this mistaken understanding comes not living within your means (i.e. maybe one to many pairs of shoes – maybe?), and so a limit was not set on credit card usage. The key is responsibility and wise use of cards.

Suzi Orman’s advice is to use one credit card a few times a month, for small purchases you can pay off in fill when the monthly statement arrives.

Dave Ramsey’s advice is to stay away from borrowing money and credit cards all together. Don’t worry about your credit score. Really?? This seems crazy since even getting some jobs these days depends upon your credit score.

Dave Ramsey does provide information on what makes up your credit score:

  • 35% of the score is based on your payment history.
  • 30% is based on your debt level.
  • 15% is the length of time you’re in debt.
  • 10% is new debt.
  • 10% is the type of debt.

Your entire credit score is based upon debt… so perhaps the millennials have it right. Use credit cards wisely and pay cash if possible.