New survey finds young people are in a lot of debt

September 2, 2016

Lucy_2 (Custom)By Lucy Palmer-Richerson

Millions of 18-24 year olds have significant debts and are worried about their financial situation, according to a new survey carried out for the Money Advice Trust by YouGov.

According to the survey of 2,042 people aged between18 and 24, as many as 37% are already in debt and owe an average of £2,989.

This debt does not include student loans and mortgages; with rising university fees, many students are left owing an average debt of £25,505 once they are finished with their studies.

The survey found that 51% of young people between 18 and 24 worry regularly about money, with women more likely to worry then men. 21% of those surveyed stated that they lost sleep as a result of their worries, whilst a further 31% said they found their debts to be a “heavy burden”.

Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust who run the National Debtline, said: “With many young people beginning to build up debts soon after they turn 18, we have a real battle on our hands as a society to make sure they receive the support they need. This is particularly important given the widespread worry that money issues are causing to under-25s.

“This support should range from ensuring they are provided with basic financial skills, timely support when they first apply for credit and practical reforms to student finance payments to help those at university to manage their money well.

She added: “Worryingly, far too few under-25s are seeking advice when they fall into difficulty. If we let this situation continue, there is a real risk that young debts will become old debts, with the financial prospects and life chances of young adults being negatively affected as a result.

“It is crucial that anyone struggling to cope with their debts seek free advice from a debt charity like National Debtline straight away – as the earlier you seek advice, the quicker and easier the problem will be to solve.”

The rise in debt in young people is not just down to overspending. In fact, the survey found that more than 69% of 18 to 24-year-olds have a budget that they try to stick to, and 71% keep an eye on their account balance, checking it online at least once a week.