Half of Under 35s ‘Couldn’t Pay Bill Worth £250 Without Relying on Debt’

May 26, 2017

Around half of all British adults aged under 35 wouldn’t be able to pay off an unexpected bill worth £250 or more without resorting to some form of debt.
That’s according to the credit information company Experian, whose research suggests that there could be as many as 3.5 million young adults around the UK who are getting by financially with little or no savings to drawn upon.
Experian’s investigations indicate that many of these people “earn relatively good money” but nonetheless find themselves renting their homes rather than buying them and relying on debt to a much greater extent than their counterparts of older generations.
The credit information company is calling people who fall into this category ‘YERNS’, in reference to the idea that they are young, earning and renting but have no savings.
As many as 79 per cent of YERNS are believed to have outstanding debts of some kind and around two million in the UK are currently estimated to have no money at all set aside as savings.
And were they to be hit with an unexpected bill worth £250 or more, half would be forced to use credit or to borrow money from friends or family to cover those costs.
YERNS are estimated to make up a little under a third of all adult consumers in the UK and they are generally much more likely than most to use credit cards or a personal loan to cover their household bills. “Living in an overdraft has become second nature for many people 35 and under,” says Richard Jenkins from Experian.

“The result is many young families and individuals are living beyond their means and so when unplanned costs occur, it can tip them over the edge. “With interest rates at an all-time low and credit card debt – especially among YERNS – at an all-time high, this generation is especially vulnerable to increases in inflation and any potential rise in interest rates.”
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