Good debt, bad debt: Credit cards, car loan most common debts for young

Good debt, bad debt: Credit cards, car loan most common debts for young

While experts recommend young people should start investing as soon as possible, those in their twenties will often find it hard to do so as they are busy clearing their debts.

Take Mr Perry Siow for example. At 23, he racked up a debt of more than $50,000, because his business partner ran away with everything from the accounts of the trading firm they had set up together.

This happened during a business trip to Indonesia to source for more clients, and the former derivatives trader returned home to find his dreams of earning big bucks completely dashed.

To add insult to injury, he was a guarantor for a friend who had borrowed $20,000 from a loan shark.

Mr Siow, 37, an associate senior vice-president at realtor HSR, said: "No one taught me about money management, I was depressed. I also had to pawn my mother's gold jewellery to help with my debts. I get emotional thinking about that."

Faced with immense pressure and bouts of suicidal thoughts as a young adult, he found religion which drove him to find a new job and cleared his debt little by little.

The Christian found his calling in real estate and by the second year of working, he paid off all debts and redeemed his mother's gold.

It was a life of all work and no play for Mr Siow, who skipped all social functions and would be distributing real estate fliers until 2am.

"I was also a part-time trader for a client and if I had time, I'd be a banquet waiter from 6pm to 11pm, even though that earned me only $20 per hour. I worked every day for two years."

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