03 April 2019

Single, under 40, in work and renting – a snapshot of debt nation

3 min read

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Becky O'Connor

Personal Finance Specialist


StepChange, the debt charity, today (Wednesday April 3) publishes a report showing that a record number of people contacted the charity in 2018 and that the majority of its clients are under 40, in-work and renting.

The report shows an increase in the number of single parents – 85 per cent of whom are women – contacting the charity in 2018.

It also shows that clients with children, both single parents and couples, are over-represented in relation to the percentage of the total UK population that they make up: couples with children make up 26 per cent of StepChange clients but 23 per cent of the population, while single parents make up 23 per cent of StepChange clients, but 6 per cent of the population.

The biggest category of consumer debt was credit cards, which was a source of debt in 68 per cent of cases.

Commenting on the report, Becky O’Connor, personal finance specialist at Royal London, said:

“The demographics of this one debt charity’s clients tell us a story of intergenerational inequality, with debt affecting younger people under 40 the most. The report also shows that employment is not the answer to money troubles and that renters, who often bear higher housing costs, are more likely to encounter financial difficulty.”

“Having two incomes to support a family is hard enough, but single parents face even more pressure and insecurity, as this report clearly shows.”

Notes to Editors

The full StepChange Debt Charity 2018 Statistics Yearbook and the associated Excel spreadsheet will be accessible on its website from 3 April 2019.

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £139 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and 4,348 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2020.

For further information please contact:

Lucy Field, Press Officer