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Basic living costs are plunging young people into debt

Basic living costs are plunging young people into debt
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A new study has revealed that young people are going into debt just to pay for the most basic cost of living.

This information, of course, is nothing new. There are countless reports of students turning to endless, inventive and sometimes shocking ways to make cash, from gambling through to phone sex and selling their used underwear.

According to Save the Student, students now have a hard time affording basic living costs, such as paying their rent and doing their food shop.

Whilst young people and students tend to get a bad reputation, with many people labelling us as ‘millennial snowflakes‘ or stating that we are clumsy with our finances, new reports have proven that age-old argument, it simply was better in the ‘old days’.

New information has shown that there has definitely been a shift in the patterns around wealth and income, with the cost of living going up seven times higher than the actual working wage, meaning that young people are now saddled with the additional costs of living whilst scraping by on low wages, thanks to inflation.

Then there is also the renting crisis, with cripplingly high rent ultimately damaging students and young people, whilst mortgages remain out of reach also- the average homeowner now rests in the mid-thirties.

More and more students are unable to repay their debts, therefore becoming insolvent with this number rising by a third since 2015.

In terms of housing, 4.5 million students and graduates live in their family home whilst expensive university cities are also feeling the effects of charging high rent as 65,000 tenants left London last year alone in search of a cheaper, better, standard of living.

With maintenance loans decreased and grants completed scrapped, is debt the only end game for students in the modern day?

A study by the Independent found this week that going to university is ruining people’s chances of becoming homeowners in the future, whilst the Financial Post stated this week that student debt is destroying the next generation.

With debt, financial worries and fears for the future all major contributing factors to student depression and suicide, there is the strong question as to why more isn’t being done to help students out of the debt hole which many have involuntarily fallen into, with students seeking advice for high credit costs standing at an increase of 34% in just one year.

According to Huff Post, more and more students have to work above the recommended 15-hour limit whilst studying to actually pay their way through university.

Huff Post argues that poor students are now paying a poverty premium. Essentially, they face higher charges for being poor which then sends them into a spiral of debt which they are then made to feel worthless about, with an increasing number of students now unable to ask their parents for financial help and advice.

If the cost of living wasn’t enough to worry about, it has now been revealed that the majority of young people are unaware of the admin behind living costs when leaving college or university to head into work, from life insurance, tax and council tax through to finances, bank accounts, rent, and bills.

Many students are missing out on the overall university experience because they cannot afford to complete their studies, with dropout rates rising considerably over the past few years. In addition to this, with loans not even covering the basic cost of accommodation, countless students are now facing university unable to support themselves or forced to work long hours to do so.

With more and more students and young people being plunged into debt, maybe it’s time to stop labelling the younger generation as weak and to start recognising the impact of poverty on studying and life after graduation, with many young people being denied the self-fulfillment of renting or buying their own homes for many years.

Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a history graduate currently working in content and communications.