April 1, 2020

What is the real cost of intergenerational debt?

Amy Moreno

What's the Weight Allowance?, 2020

What is the real cost of intergenerational debt? We live in a society and time where near life-long debt is normalised. Like many other issues, it disproportionally affects people of lower income, however, intergenerational debt does also affect families in middle income brackets. Many people accessing foodbanks have been affected by debt, sometimes accumulated due to benefits delays and processing issues. Stuck with no way out, this bag of debt soon becomes impossible to carry. Middle-class families may accumulate debt in different ways – through education fees, purchasing cars or homes, but may also fall on hard times. Debt is something that affects most families and individuals in Scotland. In young adulthood, in a modern rite of passage, our name becomes a number on a credit score, as the debt morphs and grows. We carry it, shoulder it, feed it, hide it, despair of it, then pass it on to our children. We know that there are other ways of moving through life, but this would mean massive societal change. I would like to think that perhaps some of those are on the horizon.