To read this content please select one of the options below:

Generation Z’s perceptions and attitudes toward debt: a case study of young consumers in rural Michigan, USA

Scot Squires (College of Business, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan, USA)
Henry Wai Leong Ho (College of Business, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan, USA)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 8 December 2022

29

Abstract

Purpose

While there is a large body of research looking at consumers’ perception of debt, much of this previous research focuses on older generations. Less is known about the perceptions and attitudes toward debt of younger consumers, specifically those from Generation Z who are from rural areas in the USA. The purpose of this paper is to identify young rural consumers’ perceptions and attitudes toward debt.

Design/methodology/approach

This quantitative research used surveys. A well-established scale for measuring consumer attitudes toward debt has been adopted and applied. Because of the sensitive and personal nature of debt, anonymous, self-reporting questionnaires were used to allow respondents to respond freely and minimize potential bias that could be caused by socially desirable responses. The young respondents who participated in the research were invited verbally or via email by the investigators to complete the survey online via QuestionPro.

Findings

This study found the majority of consumers from Generation Z reported that using credit is basically wrong. Also, these young consumers claimed that being in debt is never a good thing. Additionally, the authors found gender differences. Young male consumers were more likely to claim that they had their debt under control, and young female consumers were more likely to claim that financial debt had influenced their life.

Originality/value

These Generation Z perceptions provide constructive data for use in evaluating and amending marketers’ strategies to better connect with the young customers. Companies may want to stress how their products are risk adverse, provide a sort of financial security and will not leave the customer in debt. This is especially important following the COVID-19 pandemic as local businesses in a college community are trying to attract students back to their establishments.

Keywords

Citation

Squires, S. and Ho, H.W.L. (2022), "Generation Z’s perceptions and attitudes toward debt: a case study of young consumers in rural Michigan, USA", Young Consumers, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-07-2022-1567

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles