The “bleak” financial situation faced by the younger generation was laid bare this week, as official figures showed that more people aged between 25 and 34 are turning to a type of insolvency known as a debt relief order (DRO) than any other age group.
One in four people who have taken out DROs in England and Wales since they were introduced fall into this age category, according to the Insolvency Service, which has launched a Dealing With Your Debt campaign encouraging people to seek help early.
The campaign is supported by debt advice charities including the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Money Advice Trust (MAT) and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS).
They are encouraging people not to put off seeking advice and helping them avoid the potential pitfalls of high-interest personal loans such as ‘payday’ loans, which could include finding other forms of credit if necessary.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the MAT, said: “Many struggling 25 to 34-year-olds might have expected to be further up the financial ladder by now. At the same age their parents would most likely have bought their first home, have a comfortable pension lined up, and be saving for the future. For today’s 25 to 34-year-olds the picture is much bleaker.
“The good news is that help is available and free advice services can make a big difference.”
Ms Elson said many of those suffering debt problems will be trapped in the private rental market, where costs have “rapidly” escalated as people have been unable to get on the property lad-der.
Some 44,000 DROs have been made in England and Wales in total since their introduction in 2009.
The Insolvency Service’s publication, In Debt, Dealing With Your Creditors, can be downloaded from the website www.bis. gov.uk