Generation Y and Millennials considering property investment are being held back by the “shame” of others knowing about their own debts, according to a property expert.
Ayda Shabanz, an independent property and finance investment expert and commentator, claimed that one of biggest reasons Gen Ys and Millennials do not enter the property market is because of the shame associated with bad debt from credit cards and other payment services.
“What I constantly see in this age bracket is a great deal of bad debt — that is, debt from multiple credit cards with high interest rates, and schemes like AfterPay where you can buy now and pay later,” Ms Shabanz said.
“The scary part is the actual amount they are in debt. The credit cards will have limits of $20,000 or more, and ridiculously high interest rates.
“Of course, the items are not assets that will rise in value either, and these people are then paying off one credit card with the other — sadly, they are stuck in a credit cycle with no idea how to get out of it.”
Ms Shabanz said that these credit cycles of bad debt have been occurring since she entered the industry over 15 years ago, and the only way to break the cycle is to seek help.
“So many of these people actually think they are too far gone to actually invest in property. They can only see themselves continuing in this credit cycle with no way out, let alone to actually buy a property,” she said.
“They are ashamed of their debt. They are stuck in this cycle and they feel they are the only ones. This is what’s stopping them [from] approaching an expert — they are ashamed.”
The feelings, she said, are due to not enough financial education being taught in schools.
“At school, we learn the names of different rivers in Egypt, but not much practical guidance at all when it comes to managing our own personal finances. As a result, we have no trouble being approved for a credit card with a high interest rate, and even less trouble in spending it,” Ms Shabanz said.
“So, what we have are credit cards with high interest rates, a lot of ‘stuff’ we don’t need and can’t afford, and a job that pays well but has no hope of helping us to swim. And when we are sinking, we are too ashamed to even ask for help, let alone consider investing in property.”
She added: “It is understandable they would be ashamed of their situation and feel like they are the only one in it. But that’s not true. There are just so many others. Having the courage to stand up and say you won’t accept this credit cycle any longer is the key. Then you can really start living!”