Over half of Amsterdam youth are in debt

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More than half of Amsterdam's young people are in debt, some even to such an extent that they cannot get out without assistance.

This is according to a study done by the municipality among young people between the ages of 18 and 27 years, NU reports. The study found that 76 thousand of the some 130 thousand young people living in the Dutch capital have debts of thousands of euros.

With student loans, health insurance and traffic fines, debts can quickly mount up for a young person, according to Christophe Geuskens of Doras debt counseling. "Young people already have problematic debt amounting to thousand euros." he said to NU, adding that they sometimes come across young people with debts of around 30 or 40 thousand euros before their 23rd birthday. Luckily more and more young people find their way to debt counseling, the number increased by 50 percent this past year.

The Amsterdam municipality wants to prevent young people drowning in their debts and is focusing on prevention programs at places young people frequent, such as schools, work and community centers. "Firstly we want to show that we want to help and that debts are not something to be ashamed of, but something to solve. Young people often find that nice to hear, because they are ashamed of the debt they have", said Arjan Vliegenhart, Amsterdam alderman of Work and Income.