Results

Credit Karma Inc.

07/13/2021 | News release | Archived content

Gen Z turns to TikTok and Instagram for financial advice and actually takes it, study finds

  • 56% of Gen Z and Millennials report they intentionally seek out financial advice online or through social media
  • More than half (52%) of Gen Z respondents who seek financial advice about personal finance online go to TikTok
  • 51% of Gen Z respondents admit to having taken financial advice from someone they didn't know online

TikTok is a magical place. It's a place where people can learn the latest viral dances, make recipes for dishes like baked feta pasta - because who doesn't want to enjoy feta in every form - or simply escape into the endless humor and ridiculousness of things people post online. But, TikTok isn't all fun and games, it's also a place where people can find information about more serious topics, like mental health, racial justice and personal finance.

In fact, according to a recent study conducted by Qualtrics on behalf of Credit Karma, 56% of Gen Z and millennials say they intentionally seek out information or advice about personal finance online or through social media platforms, with the majority of Gen Z seeking this information on Instagram (57%) and TikTok (52%). Millennials, on the other hand, mainly seek out this kind of information and advice on Facebook (53%) and Instagram (39%).

Here is a breakdown of the top online platforms Gen Z and millennials turn to for information and advice on personal finances:

Top social platforms sought out for financial information by generation Gen Z Millennials
TikTok 52% 26%
Instagram 57% 39%
SnapChat 41% 24%
Facebook 39% 53%
Banking of financial institutions' blogs 31% 35%
Twitter 27% 28%
* Among respondents who intentionally seek financial advice online/from social media

Influence or be influenced, younger generations trust social media influencers for financial advice.

When it comes to getting information and advice on personal finances online, younger generations don't trust just anybody, they trust ✨ influencers ✨. According to the study, 75% of Gen Z and millennial respondents who intentionally seek financial advice online or through social media, say they follow specific social media influencers who create content relating to personal finance. What's more, 45% of those who have sought out this information say they have actually taken financial advice from someone they didn't know online and 69% of those who took advice said the advice they received made a positive impact on their lives.

Separately, among all Gen Z and millennial respondents, including those who have and have not taken advice from someone they didn't know online, 37% say they would take such financial advice at face value without feeling the need to fact check the information. Additionally, nearly half of all respondents said they're likely to share financial advice or information found online with a friend or family member.

So, what financial advice are younger generations getting via social media?

According to the study, Gen Z and millennials who have sought out information and advice about personal finance online, have received advice on budgeting (34%), taxes (34%) and credit card debt (29%), among other things. Here's a look at the topics Gen Z and millennials have received advice on:

Topics of financial advice Gen Z and millennials have received online
Budgeting 34%
Taxes 34%
Credit card debt 29%
Credit card rewards / points 24%
Investing in the stock market 24%
Home buying 24%
Opening a credit card / bank account 23%
Shopping for car / insurance 20%
Investing in bitcoin/crypto 18%
Paying down student loans 18%
Retirement 14%
Applying for student loans 13%
Disputing errors on your credit report 12%
Government aid / unemployment 12%
* Among respondents who intentionally seek financial advice online/from social media

Topics of interest begin to shift generationally as you look further down the list of categories. For example, Gen Z has also received home buying advice (26%) and advice on opening a credit card or bank account (22%), whereas millennials, who may be a bit more financially secure and looking to optimize their money, have received advice on how to invest in the stock market (29%) and advice on credit card rewards and points (28%). Also, it's worth nothing, 22% of millennials have also received advice on investing in bitcoin/crypto.

Confusion and fear fuels Gen Z and millennials' information-seeking online

The topics younger generations are seeking advice on make sense when you consider the areas of personal finance that Gen Z and millennials are most confused about and find most daunting.

According to the study, younger generations are most confused about investing (24%), filing their taxes (21%) and credit score factors (18%). And, when it comes to the parts of our financial lives that feel too daunting to even address, Gen Z and millennials list 401K vs Roth IRA options (27%), stock market investments (25%) and crypto currency and digital assets investments as the most daunting.

'Finances are complicated for the majority of Americans,' said Colleen McCreary, financial advocate at Credit Karma. 'It's great to see so many young people are becoming more aware of their finances now and are taking steps to inform themselves on certain parts of their finances. That's where technology and social media can be really powerful. However, it's important that consumers do their research and verify the information they find online before taking action, especially when it comes to more risky advice, like investing in the stock market or in cryptocurrency. There are a ton of free resources online to help you cross reference information you see on social media. At the end of the day, it's your money and your financial future at stake.'

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Methodology

On behalf of Credit Karma, Qualtrics conducted a nationally representative online survey in June 2021 among 1,042 American young adults aged 18-24 and 25-40 to understand where they're getting information and advice on their finances, and social media's role in informing them about personal finance topics.

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