Belfast Telegraph

Young borrow money from family and friends 'just to buy food'

Two-thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds have borrowed money from family or friends, with many doing so just to make ends meet, a charity has found.

Some 67% of people in this age group have turned to family or friends for help and two-fifths (39%) of them did so to cover basic expenses such as food, rent or travel.

The research, from National Debtline, run by the Money Advice Trust (MAT), found those who owed money to family or friends had borrowed an average of £2,248.

Parents were found to be the most common sources of these informal loans, followed by friends and brothers or sisters.

More than a quarter (29%) of 18- to 24-year-olds who had borrowed money from family or friends said this had helped them to avoid financial problems, the survey of more than 2,000 people found.

But, while 63% of people said they had turned to a parent for advice about money at some point in the past, just 2% had sought expert advice from a money or debt advice charity.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the MAT, said: "We should all be concerned that so many young people are finding themselves having to borrow money to meet even their basic living costs.

"The good news is that many young people do have a safety net of family and friends to turn to, and many will see this as the norm - but we should remember that this can often have a big financial impact on the person doing the lending, too."