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Debt problems among young people have doubled, claim Citizens' Advice

By Alan Beresford

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Record numbers of young people are approaching Citizens' Advice for debt advice.
Record numbers of young people are approaching Citizens' Advice for debt advice.

THE number of young people needing help with managing money has doubled since 2019, charity Citizens' Advice has reported.

Citizens' Advice, which supported 66,000 under-25s last year alone, says one in five (20 per cent) young adults seeking its advice need help with debt.

The charity warns many young people are feeling particularly squeezed by the cost-of-living crisis as they face a triple whammy of soaring living costs, rising private rents and high inflation. This has led to record numbers of people seeking the organisation's help amid rising financial pressures.

Despite this, the vast majority of young adults still feel uncomfortable discussing finances. According to the charity’s new research, nine in 10 (90 per cent) under-25s shy away from such conversations, and would rather talk about sensitive topics like health issues, politics or religion instead of money.

In the Citizens' Advice study, embarrassment was listed as the top reason (35 per cent) why young adults feel uncomfortable discussing money, followed by the fear of comparison. The other main reasons given were: Feeling worried how their finances compare to others (31 per cent); It is too personal a topic to talk about (18 per cent); Not wanting the other person to feel uncomfortable in the conversation (15 per cent); Not knowing enough about finances to talk about the topic confidently (12 per cent).

Rosi Avis from Citizens' Advice Manchester said: “All of us can struggle to find the words when it comes to talking about our finances.

"And we know young people are really feeling the pinch with rising costs and sky-high rents.

“At Citizens' Advice we help thousands of people find a way forward every day. So whether it’s a dodgy landlord, a retailer who’s refusing to give you a refund or help with credit card debt, we can support you.

“The most important first step is to speak to someone about your worries, whether it’s a family member, a mate or one of our trained advisers. We’re here to help and make you feel less alone.”

To support young people to feel more comfortable discussing finances, Citizens Advice has created an expert guide available at https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/elephant-savings-your-starter-guide-to-talking-about-money-6fef0d8f4b6d

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