Young Koreans' debt soars as they turn to crypto, stocks and real estate

Young Koreans' debt soars as they turn to crypto, stocks and real estate


Household debt for younger Koreans — those born from the 1980s onward — has surged to $22.7 billion, up from $3.9 billion from last year. 

Data from South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), released today by Representative Kim Han-jeong of the Democratic Party of Korea, reportedly indicates that the high levels of lending are attributable to an increase in investments in cryptocurrencies, stocks and real estate.

While millennials and Gen Z accounted for roughly 34% of total household debt in Korea in 2019, that figure grew to 45.5% by 2020 and is now at 50.7%. Rep. Kim has called for government measures to help manage the debt and reduce the risks of default, stating:

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“They have been lending excessively to buy real estate amid surging asset prices. The young generations have been burying themselves in stock investment and buying cryptocurrencies.”

The FSS data provides a degree of granularity, revealing that these generations’ home-backed lending has soared from $2.8 billion to $16 billion, while

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