Debt despair: third of young people expect to borrow beyond 40

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Debt despair: third of young people expect to borrow beyond 40, says Young Women’s Trust

YWTMore than a third of UK young people think they will still be in debt by the time they’re 40, as they report worsening debt levels, finds Young Women’s Trust. 

The charity, which helps young women on low or no pay, surveyed more than 4,000 young people with Populus Data Solutions to find that one in five are in debt all the time, a quarter have worse debt levels now than last year and 36 per cent don’t think they’ll be out of debt any time soon. 

Young women are more likely to be in a difficult financial situation than men; 40 per cent struggle to make their cash last to the end of the month, compared to 29 per cent of young men. 

Young Women’s Trust says that the increase in debt could be down to worsening finances, as a quarter of young people say their financial situation has deteriorated in the past year. Young women are more likely than young men to be jobless or trapped in low-paid or insecure work. 

Young people see their family as their main safety net, with many borrowing from the bank of mum and dad even in to their late 20s. One in five rely on their parents or carers to get to the end of the month, with that number rising among young women.

When asked how else they make their cash last to the end of the month, 18 per cent go into their overdraft, 16 per cent work additional hours, 13 per cent rely on a credit card and eight per cent sell their belongings. Young women are more likely to take these measures than men. 

Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said: 

“Young women remain more likely to be out of work, on low pay or in insecure work, which makes it hard to make ends meet. It’s therefore no wonder that they are more likely to be in debt and see little hope of escaping that in future. 

“Young Women’s Trust is asking the Government to give young women the right skills and support to find jobs, ensure decent and flexible jobs are available, and extend the National Living Wage to under-25s, so they are paid the same amount for the same work.” 

Young Women’s Trust will publish its full survey in a new report in September. 

ENDS 

Notes to editor: 

  1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 in England and Wales trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.
  2. All figures unless otherwise stated are based on findings from a survey carried out for Young Women’s Trust by Populus Data Solutions. A representative sample of 4,010 18-30 year olds and 1,105 54-72 year olds in England and Wales, with panel services provided by Populus Live, were surveyed between 29 June-16 July 2018. The survey of 18-30 year olds shows that:
  • more young people expect to be in debt by the age of 40 than not; 36 per cent (or more than a third) think they will still be in debt by the time they’re 40, 34 per cent expect to be debt free by the age of 40 and 4 per cent already are debt free;
  • 26 per cent say their levels of debt have got worse over the past year;
  • 34 per cent struggle to make their cash last to the end of the month (40 per cent of young women, or two in five, and 29 per cent of young men, or nearly a third).
  • 24 per cent say their financial situation has got worse over the past year;
  • 19 per cent (or one in five) are reliant on their parents to help them make money last until the end of the month. (22 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men); and
  • 46 per cent (or almost half) would go to their family first if they were in debt.
  1. When young people were asked how they make their cash last to the end of the month:
  • 19 per cent borrow money from family (22 per cent of young women and 15 per cent of young men);
  • 18 per cent go into their overdraft (21 per cent of young women and 16 per cent of young men);
  • 16 per cent work additional hours (17 per cent of young women and 14 per cent of young men);
  • 13 per cent rely on a credit card (15 per cent of young women and 11 per cent of young men); and
  • eight per cent sell belongings (10 per cent of young women and six per cent of young men.

For more information, regional breakdowns or to speak to a young woman who is affected, please contact Bex Bailey on 07963018281 or bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org.

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