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Debt warning over older parents

Published on 31 May 2013 11:30 AM

Many older people are getting into debt as they are still looking after dependent children, a charity is warning.

StepChange, formerly CCCS, has revealed 50% more over-60s - who are looking after children - are reporting financial difficulties than in 2009.

It's also only expecting the problem to get worse as more people are having children later in their lives than ever before.

Charity representative Delroy Corinaldi said it's important for older people with dependent children to consider this when organising their finances, and even more so if they are among the 'sandwich generation' also responsible for looking after their parents as well.

Child care and social care

The cost of children's education and care fees for their parents all adds up and some even have to factor in mortgage payments if they have not managed to pay off home loans. The difficulties many young people are finding in getting on the housing ladder themselves means many children are still living with their parents long into adulthood.

StepChange is highlighting the fact that people over the age of 60 tend to have larger debts than any other age group and it has found these debts can be as high as £23,000 on average compared to the typical amount of £17,650 across all ages.

Use of credit cards

Credit cards are the medium through which most older people amass debt, with the typical figure of £15,150 far higher than the £10,000 average across all age groups. They also tend to owe £2,000 to catalogue companies and more on store cards and overdrafts.

Older people are less likely than others to make use of payday loans, as they typically owe £1,220 compared to the average of £1,660 StepChange is seeing across the board.

The Office for National Statistics has found that a tenth of older people are worried about how much they still owe on their mortgages, with 11% of people aged of 65 complaining of the 'heavy burden' of owning property.

Copyright Press Association 2013

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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