After accumulating a mountain of debt compared to income during the crazy days that led to the Great Recession, young adults have knocked off a large portion of their debt — more so than older adults — by simply owning less of the big-ticket items that drain finances, such as homes and cars. The debt-to-income ratio of younger adults doubled from 1983 to 2007, peaking at 1.63. It has since fallen to 1.46, but remains higher than that of older adults, whose debt-to-income ratio is at 1.22.

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