More than a third of 18 to 24-year-olds have debts of almost £3,000, new figures suggest.
The same number say their debts feel like a “heavy burden” according to research for the Money Advice Trust by YouGov.
Richard from Scunthorpe tells Newsbeat “it’s so easy to get into, so hard to get out of”.
But earlier this year he managed to pay back the money he owed – between £3,000 and £4,000.
The 26-year-old blames the ease of access to store cards and credit cards for getting into trouble in the first place.
It all started with a Topman store card. He maxed it out…
Richard got himself a Topshop store card so that he could keep spending.
“Then I started getting credit cards because I was low on cash,” he explains.
“I kept getting more cards to cover the other cards.
“It’s too easy to get into really. All you have to do is sign a piece of paper and it’s yours.
“You can spend minimum of £500 and after three months they up it to £1000. And it is easy to go up and up.”
“I was getting annoyed with all the letters and every time I paid some back, I never seemed to get anywhere.
“I had to eventually sort myself out and start paying things off and live with no money for a bit.”
Richard was lucky enough that his boss at the time stepped in to give him a hand
“My boss helped me out and looked at my wages with me and looked at what I could live on.
“I had to stay in for six to eight months and not do anything.”
Since February this year Richard has been debt-free and says he now budgets
“I know how much money I need to put where for bills and I know how much I’ve got left to spend.”
Talking about his 18-year-old self, he says “I was just a bit of an idiot with money – I didn’t really care.
“At the end of the day you get these store cards and stuff and it’s not really your money.
“So you just spend it and eventually you need to it back.
“And when you miss a payment they get you with late payment fees.”
He thinks the advice given is all very well… if you already think like that
“If you’re already in debt, drawing up a budget just shows you where you should be spending money that you haven’t got.”
And he admits: “I wouldn’t have listened when I was younger.”