Half of British teenagers in debt

14 February 2007
Financial education initiatives for Britain's young people may need a shot in the arm after a study into attitudes to finance from the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg) found that over half of England's teenagers have been in debt by the time they reach 17.

And many look to short-term borrowing strategies such as credit cards, which one in twenty thought you didn't have to pay lenders back for.

Such approaches are unlikely to relieve young people of the burden of anxiety about money which 90 per cent of those surveyed confessed to feeling.

Gavin Shreeve of the IFS School of Finance described financial capability as "woeful" and suggested that teenagers needed to get 'standalone qualifications' to enable them to make better use of their money.

But Wendy van den Hende, chief executive of pfeg, stressed the need for financial capability education in the school environment.

"We owe it to our young people to ensure that they have the financial acumen to deal with the responsibilities of being an adult," she said.

pfeg is partnered with the Financial Services Authority in bringing personal finance education to schools through the Learning Money Matters scheme.

To learn more about child savings, click here.

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