Under-30s avoid credit card spending but spread debts

The sample of under-30s surveyed gave an average amount of £1,073 owed per person in credit card debt, below half of the average debt incurred by 30-50 year-olds.

The under-30s made greater use of overdrafts, with 51 per cent using the facility offered by their account. The majority who admitted to owing £1,000 or more were students who do not pay for the facility.

Research by debt adviser Thomas Charles also revealed that 82 per cent of under-25s have a student loan, equating to one person in four.

Samantha Owens, head of research at the online company Moneyfacts, commented that taking on large debts to pay back on the ‘never-never’ can lead to people getting more used to being in debt.

“Borrowing starts from a relatively young age for a lot of people,” she said, adding that student loans had made this more of a norm.

The younger age group appear to want to keep cumulative interest payments down but overdraft control pinpoints the need for more targeted debt management: 20 per cent of under-30s say they are permanently overdrawn and nine per cent have exceeded their limit over the past six months.

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