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Creditfix LB 03-2017

Young Consumers Worried About Finances

The number of younger consumers worried about finances is growing, with 65 per cent of consumers aged between 18 and 34 concerned how they will cope when interest rates are raised.

Research by Sky News showed that the 18-34 age group were the most worried about an interest rate rise, and would like to see the government cap the amount of debt that can be accrued on credit cards.

64 per cent of consumers surveyed said that they would back the government introducing a statutory limit on credit card debt, with that support rising to 70 per cent from young people.

The news comes as analysis from debt charity Stepchange showed that almost two thirds of their clients seeking advice on how to manage finances are now under 40 years old, up from around half six years ago.

Unsecured debt in the UK recently passed the ?200 billion mark for the first time since the global financial crisis, and while the government is generally happy with the state of the economy and considering raising interest rates, consumer credit is still a concern.

Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Nicky Morgan, confirmed to Sky News that household debt was being monitored.

She said: ‘I think it’s always going to be very unwise to continue to lend to people who cannot pay back their debts and have no way of doing so.

‘That’s deeply stressful for the people who have those debts, it’s also very bad for the banks and lenders.

‘In my experience, it’s impossible to say where the next crisis is going to come from, but undoubtedly people are looking at whether it’s very high household debt, car loans, other forms of unsecured lending, and worrying that that could be sowing the seeds for future problems.’

A survey of credit industry professionals by the University of Edinburgh’s business school found that 66 per cent predicted a credit crunch by 2022, while 38 per cent felt that a financial crisis could arrive within the next three years.

Meanwhile, it seems that consumers may also be taking action themselves. Data from Visa, the payments processing company, suggests that consumer spending has dipped in recent months, while new car sales have also shown a decline.

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