[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 04:16 GMT
Teenagers 'laid-back' about debt
Money
Teenagers have a good understanding of financial matters
More than half of all schoolchildren have been in debt by the time they reached 17, an education charity says.

Research from The Personal Finance Education Group found a "worryingly laid-back" attitude towards debt and spending amongst teenagers.

About 90% of respondents said they worried about money, but tended to think of overdrafts and credit cards as easy ways to spend more than they earn.

One in 20 thought credit card debt did not have to be paid back at all.

We owe it to our young people to ensure that they have the financial acumen to deal with the responsibilities of being an adult
Wendy van den Hende

When asked why someone might have an overdraft, one in four said it was so they would not have to worry about overspending every month.

A further 23% stated that it would allow you to spend more than your salary would allow.

Just under a quarter of 18-year-olds said a credit card was something with which to buy goods and services, where parents pick up the bill.

But almost two thirds said they would like to learn more about investing, while more than half were interested in learning about how to save and control their spending.

And teenagers also had a generally good understanding of financial matters.

Wendy van den Hende, chief executive of the education group, said: "Whilst we are pleased to see that today's young people are relatively clued up on the mechanics of spending and saving money, it is also alarming to note how seamlessly they appear to be drifting towards an adulthood of debt.

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


SEE ALSO
Britons face 'lifetime of debts'
24 May 06 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific