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Generation debt: Unemployment leaving under-25s struggling with debt

21 February, 2013

New findings from StepChange Debt Charity show that unemployment is a significantly greater cause of debt problems for the under 25s than any other age group. Those seeking help from the charity who were under the age of 25 were more far more likely to be out of work than their older counterparts.

Reason for debt problem 

Last year, 34 percent of the 22,262 adults under the age of 25 seeking help from the charity said that unemployment was the reason for their debt problem. 

This is substantially higher than other age groups: for those in the 25-39 age bracket, 24 percent said unemployment was the cause of their debt problem; for the 40-59s, it was 23 percent; and for those aged 60 and over, it stood at 10 percent.

Higher levels of unemployment for young

Not only did a higher level of the under 25s seeking help from the charity cite unemployment as the reason for their debt problem, a far greater percentage of clients under the age of 25 were out of work than other working-age clients. 

Last year, 42 percent of under 25s seeking debt help were unemployed compared with 30 percent for those in the 25-39 age group and 31 percent for those in the 40-59 age group.

Commenting on the findings, StepChange Debt Charity external affairs director, Delroy Corinaldi, said: “Unemployment is the single biggest cause of debt problems at any age, but 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.”

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Email: press@stepchange.org

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