Sharp spike in young people with debt problems

Woman dealing with bills
Woman dealing with billsPhoto: ginasanders/DepositPhotos

The number of young people under the age of 24 who had problems making the payments on their debts last year increased by almost 70 percent compared to five years earlier, according to figures from the BKR Foundation. 

According to the foundation, the largest group of people with problems repaying their debts are still over the age of 30. "But it is striking that people with payment problems have become younger and younger in recent years," said the foundation, dedicated to financial health. 

Young people are a vulnerable group, BKR Foundation Peter van den Bosch said. "They have built up less capital than other groups and more often have a flexible employment contract. They are therefore financially vulnerable. Debts also cause stress and other health problems," he said. According to him, many of these young people also have study loans weighing on them.

A survey by Panelwizard showed that 74 percent of Dutch think the government should prevent people from getting into financial difficulties after their studies, the foundation said. 83 percent want young people to be better informed bout their student debts. And 74 percent believe that the student loan system is resulting in young people getting into financial difficulties after their studies.

Compared to 2018, the total number of Dutch with problems repaying their debts remained virtually unchanged last year. 14 percent of this group were under the age of 30.