A survey by YouthInsight has found that only 17 per cent of teens possess high financial literacy, while 33% have low to no financial literacy at all.

The study of 903 young people aged 14 – 25 conducted by Student Edge’s full-service market research arm also revealed that two in five young people feel stressed about their finances.

These stress levels increase relative to age and are generally higher among females.

Nonetheless, forty-six per cent of young people said they feel that have some control over their finances, while twenty-six per cent said they feel totally in control.

Interestingly, a higher proportion of males feel completely in control of their finances compared to females (31 per cent vs 21 per cent). Similarly, overall financial stress was higher among females (49 per cent) compared to males (33 per cent), with females reporting higher levels of debt across all types of loans compared to males.

The major type of debt for students is HELP (student loan) debts. This is strongly driven by female students, with 47 per cent compared to only 32 per cent for male students.

The average HELP debt is around $19,000, with male students owing around $16,000 compared to $21,000 for female students.

The second most common type of debt is owed to family members, with 16 per cent owing parents or other family money. This was highest among the oldest group of 22 – 25 at 25 per cent.

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