The biggest differences affecting whether these young people need debt advice or not relate to their working lives. More of the young people who need debt advice are working than those who don’t need advice (if you include part time employment). However, the terms and conditions that each group are employed on are different.
The young people who need debt advice have less secure employment, with just over half of those in work being on fixed term contracts, freelancers or other working arrangements with less reliable earnings such as zero hours contracts, the gig economy, casual or seasonal work.
Those who don’t need advice are more likely to be full time students and those who work are in permanent employment with more security and benefits. We should also bear in mind that people in this age group made up a large proportion of the workforceOpens in a new window in the hospitality and retail sections in 2019 which were heavily impacted by pandemic lockdown restrictions.
Both groups face challenges in keeping up with bills and credit commitments and having a less stable income tips people over into needing debt advice.
Around a third of both groups sometimes don’t have the money to pay their bills, but those who need advice experience this problem more often and around half are borrowing to get by. More of them are also using a flexible pay scheme to get access to their salary earlier than they are normally paid, but not all employers offer this of course.