Almost 40% of UK 35 to 44-year-olds borrow to make ends meet


Almost two-fifths of 35 to 44-year-olds have resorted to borrowing to make ends meet in the cost of living crisis, more than double the proportion of those aged over 55, according to one of the most comprehensive reports of its kind.

The study by the Resolution Foundation published on Thursday also found that while nearly every demographic group had dipped into savings and cut spending owing to high inflation, a quarter of those aged under 35 had turned to the “bank of mum and dad” for help.

It found that 37 per cent of people aged 35 to 44 had relied on formal lending, such as credit cards, overdrafts or loans in March, compared with 16 per cent of those aged over 55 and 26 per cent for the population as a whole.

In contrast, about a quarter of 25 to 34-year-olds were forced to turn to family or friends for financial help in the past year, compared with 13 per cent in the 45 to 54 age bracket and just 2 per cent among those aged 65 and over.

The study also found that almost a fifth of low-income families reported falling behind on at least one bill in the past three months. One in seven ate less or had skipped meals for seven days in the past month, double the rate of the population as a whole. About 500,000 people, equivalent to 6 per cent of low-income households, reported using a food or warm bank in the past four weeks.

About 40 per cent of young people aged 25 to 34 said their mental health had been negatively affected by the rising cost of living, compared with 30 per cent across all age groups.

Molly Broome, an economist at the Resolution Foundation and author of the report, said that “almost everyone has been affected by the ongoing cost of living crisis, but different people have used different coping mechanisms to get by”.

Official data released last week showed that UK inflation unexpectedly remained in double digits in March at 10.1 per cent — the highest of any G7 country and close to its 41-year high in October of 11.1 per cent.

The report by the RF was supported by the Health Foundation and used data from a YouGov survey of 10,122 adults between November and March.

Dave Finch, assistant director at the Health Foundation, said the state help in the form of cost of living payments was welcome but called for a wider strategy to tackle financial hardship and “prevent a rise in unaffordable problem debt and evictions”.