More than a third of UK young people think they will still be in debt by the time they’re 40, as they report worsening debt levels, finds Young Women’s Trust.

The charity, which helps young women on low or no pay, surveyed more than 4,000 young people with Populus Data Solutions to find that one in five are in debt all the time, a quarter have worse debt levels now than last year and 36 per cent don’t think they’ll be out of debt any time soon.

Young women are more likely to be in a difficult financial situation than men; 40 per cent struggle to make their cash last to the end of the month, compared to 29 per cent of young men. The Young Women’s Trust says that the increase in debt could be down to worsening finances, as a quarter of young people say their financial situation has deteriorated in the past year. Young women are more likely than young men to be jobless or trapped in low-paid or insecure work.

Young people see their family as their main safety net, with many borrowing from the bank of mum and dad even in to their late 20s. One in five rely on their parents or carers to get to the end of the month, with that number rising among young women.

When asked how else they make their cash last to the end of the month, 18 per cent go into their overdraft, 16 per cent work additional hours, 13 per cent rely on a credit card and eight per cent sell their belongings. Young women are more likely to take these measures than men.

Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said “Young women remain more likely to be out of work, on low pay or in insecure work, which makes it hard to make ends meet. It’s therefore no wonder that they are more likely to be in debt and see little hope of escaping that in future.”

“Young Women’s Trust is asking the Government to give young women the right skills and support to find jobs, ensure decent and flexible jobs are available, and extend the National Living Wage to under-25s, so they are paid the same amount for the same work.”