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Young men least likely to seek debt help 

5 March, 2013

New research from StepChange Debt Charity has found that young men are less likely to seek debt advice than older men or women of any age. Last year, 44 percent of those seeking help from the charity under the age of 25 were male. It was 44 percent in 2009, 2010 and 2011. This is a lower gender ratio than any other age.

However, this changes as men age, with men more likely to seek debt help as they get older. More women than men seek help with their debts when they are young, this narrows with age, and then reverses in middle age.

Gender divide reverses with age

  • Fewer men than women seek help with their debts between the ages of 25 and 39, however, the gap narrows. Last year, 45 percent of those seeking help from the charity between the ages of 25 to 39 were male. It was 49 percent in 2009, 48 percent in 2010 and 47 percent in 2011.
  • The trend begins to reverse in middle age, with the numbers of men seeking debt advice closing in on women and exceeding them. Last year, 48 percent of those seeking help from the charity between the ages of 40 and 59 were male. It was 50 percent in 2009, 50 percent in 2010 and 49 percent in 2011.
  • By the age of 60, more men than women are seeking help from the charity. Last year, 54 percent of those seeking help from the charity over the age of 60 were male. It was 54 percent in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The charity said that it does not believe that young men need debt advice less than older men or women of any age. It points to its data which shows that its male clients under the age of 25 have similar debt levels to its female clients under the age of 25. The charity says that it could be the result of young men finding it harder to admit that they have a debt problem and to seek help. 

Commenting on the figures, Jason Stacey, director of policy and research at YMCA England, said:

"We know that financial issues and money management can be a big concern for many of the young people we work with across the country, both male and female. Seeking help can be one of the hardest steps to take - firstly, recognising the need to seek support and then knowing where to turn. It is vital that young people are made aware of support available to them and that any stigma associated with needing help or advice is tackled head on. 

“These findings also highlight the importance of providing different types of support - from telephone, online and face-to-face - to ensure that every young person has access to the help and support they need."

Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director at StepChange Debt Charity, added:

“Many people find it very hard to admit to having a debt problem and this is what could be holding young men back from seeking debt help, even if they need it.” 

Contact the the StepChange news team on:

Tel: 0207 391 4583

Mobile: 07950 469 101

Email: press@stepchange.org

Follow our press team on Twitter: @StepChange

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