Half of 18 to 24-year-olds regularly fret about money while more than a third have debts other than student loans and mortgages, new research has revealed.
A survey by National Debtline found th at 37% of 18 to 24-year-olds are in debt, owing an average of almost £3,000.
But when student loans are included, more than two thirds of young people have some form of borrowing - with the average student loan standing at £25,505.
Credit cards, overdrafts and loans from family and friends were common borrowing habits among 18 to 24-year-olds, the research - set to be published in a new report on Tuesday - suggested.
Many young people are struggling to sleep and feel that their debts are a "heavy burden", despite the majority of young people striving to manage their money, National Debtline said.
The survey of more than 2,000 18 to 24-year-olds conducted by YouGov found that 69% have set a budget they try to stick to, while 71% check their bank account online at least once a week.
Yet a mere 2% of young people have sought expert advice from a money or debt charity.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust which runs National Debtline, said: "With many young people beginning to build up debts soon after they turn 18, we have a real battle on our hands as a society to make sure they receive the support they need. This is particularly important given the widespread worry that money issues are causing to under-25s.
"This support should range from ensuring they are provided with basic financial skills, timely support when they first apply for credit and practical reforms to student finance payments to help those at university to manage their money well.
"Worryingly, far too few under-25s are seeking advice when they fall into difficulty. If we let this situation continue, there is a real risk that young debts will become old debts, with the financial prospects and life chances of young adults being negatively affected as a result.
"It is crucial that anyone struggling to cope with their debts seek free advice from a debt charity like National Debtline straight away - as the earlier you seek advice, the quicker and easier the problem will be to solve."
National Debtline offers free advice on 0808 808 4000 or online at www.nationaldebtline.org.