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Youngsters rely on credit for housing costs

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28/07/2015
A third of under-25s were forced to use credit to cover rent or mortgage payments in the last year, according to a debt advice provider.

Young people particularly struggle with their household finances, the Debt Advisory Centre said.

Almost one-in-three people aged between 16 and 24 needed to borrow in order to pay for their mortgage or rent payments.

This is a higher proportion than the wider population, the firm found. Across all adults 16% resorted to borrowing to pay for their housing costs.

The survey also found that a fifth of 18 – 24 year-olds had fallen at least one month behind with their rent or mortgage payments. Again this was higher than the rate for the general population, where a tenth of all adults fell behind.

In the recent Budget the government announced it would automatic housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.

As well as struggling with rent and mortgage payments, a quarter of 18-24 year-olds also admitted they had paid a recent utility bill with a loan or credit card.

Melanie Taylor, spokeswoman for Debt Advisory Centre, said: “It is incredibly worrying to see such a high volume of young people struggling to make ends meet.

“Financial independence is something that should be encouraged, but clearly it is increasingly out of reach for many. As a society, we must ensure that we are equipping young people to make sensible financial decisions and giving them the means to do so.”

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