A Demos thinktank has revealed that people in their 20s and 30s are facing the tough decision of either putting their life on hold or racking up substantial amounts of debt.
A Populus poll of 1,775 people found that 55% of 18-24 year olds and 48% of those aged 25-34 say their debts have increased over the past five years. In comparison, only 13% of those aged over 65 say that their debts have increased.
The majority of young people have debts of more than £2,000. 45% of those aged 18-24 and 56% of those aged 25-34 owe more than £2,000. Worryingly, 19% of those aged 18-24 and 22% of those aged 25-34 owe more than £10,000
30% of 18-24 year olds and 22% of 25-34 year olds consider these debts as investments in their futures which are considered positive causes of debts by Demos.
Negative explanations for debt feature heavily in the Demos thinktank. These include paying for basic necessities (27% and 35% for the two respective age groups) and unexpected expenses (27% and 28% respectively.
Jo Salter of Demos said: “Younger people are facing increasing levels of debt compared with their parents and grandparents. The costs studying for a degree, buying a house and starting a family are higher than ever – and people in their 20s and 30s are increasingly facing a choice between putting their lives on hold, or racking up substantial debts.
“If we really are all in it together then the government needs to think carefully about not placing additional pressure on people who are just starting out in life, rather than just protecting those who have passed these milestones.”
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