Growing proportion of under-40s seeking charity's help with debts
A growing proportion of people seeking help with debt problems are aged under 40 years old, a charity has reported.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of all clients advised by StepChange Debt Charity in the first six months of 2017 were aged under 40. In 2011 this proportion stood at 51%.
StepChange also said that under-25s seeking the charity's help are struggling with "rapidly growing" debt levels.
In the first half of 2017 the average debt of the clients aged under 25 was £6,637 - a figure which has seen a 29% surge since 2015 when it stood at £5,151.
StepChange also said that lone parents now make up more than a fifth (21.5%) of the charity's clients.
In 2011, people living in rented accommodation made up just over half (55.4%) of the charity's clients - but by the first half of 2017 that proportion had ballooned to four-fifths (80.1%.)
The average debt held by StepChange's clients has increased from £14,251 in 2016 to £14,367 between January and June 2017.
A growing proportion of clients are also struggling to cover everyday household bills, StepChange said.
The proportion of the charity's clients who are struggling to cover their essential household bills such as rent, council tax and electricity has exceeded 40% for the first time.
Mike O'Connor, chief executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said: "While debt has the capacity to affect anyone, the rapidly rising debt levels of younger people, the huge over-representation among single parents and increasing numbers of those under-40 and those in rented accommodation highlight where some of the most acute and emerging problems lie."