Debt problems most prevalent among the under-25s

Research by a debt advice charity has revealed that over 22,000 adults aged under 25 sought its help in 2012, demonstrating the “acutely vulnerable economic position” of young people.

StepChange Debt Charity said that a third of the 22,262 adults that fell into the under 25 age group claimed that unemployment was the reason behind their debt problem.

This was a markedly higher proportion than the 24% of those aged 25-39 and the 23% of the 40-to-59s. In a stark contrast, just 10% of the 60+ age bracket put their debt problems down to being out of work.

At the end of 2012, almost a million young people aged 16 to 24 were unemployed, with figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that youth unemployment rose by 11,000 to 974,000 in the final quarter of the year. This represents the biggest increase since the start of last year.

StepChange’s external affairs director, Delroy Corinaldi, said unemployment was the single biggest cause of debt problems at any age but this was “markedly so” for the under-25s.

“It reflects the acutely vulnerable economic position that many young people now find themselves in and is likely to overshadow the lives of a significant proportion of young people for many years to come,” he said.

The charity noted that the problems were not typically associated with student loans but stemmed from credit, such as loans and credit cards.

Debt is a problem that is adversely affecting UK residents of all ages all over the country. An investigation by The Daily Record found that nearly 400 Scots a day are seeking help from the country’s biggest advice service.

What is equivalent to eight busloads of people contact Citizens Advice Scotland and their local Citizens Advice Bureaux every single day because of financial difficulties.

With average debts stacking up to £15,000, many say they have been forced to go without food or fuel to try to pay them off.