When you're in the 25-34 age bracket, things move fast. Chances are, you left the old family nest at about 24, maybe had your first child around 27 and hopefully kicked off your pension savings at 28. Even without kids, you might well have finally tied the knot by your 31st birthday.  You've got a lot on your plate - which might explain the extra pounds many of you are packing on by now. Your metabolism might be slowing down once you're over 30, but your work and lifestyle aren't. No wonder you let a few things slip once in a while.

Who misses the most mortgage payments?

When it comes to the unfortunate necessities of life like rent and mortgages, those hectic years from 25-34 can start to bite. In fact, at that age you're almost 5 times as likely to start missing those crucial payments as other age groups. A recent survey of 1,000 young-to-youngish people found that 13.3% of them had been forced to skip a mortgage or rent payment in the last year. That compares to just 2.8% of people aged 55 and over.

Why do people miss mortgage payments?

That's not to say that the younger crowd is bad with money, though. As it turns out, this is more about the state of the UK economy itself. The 25-34 age bracket is being hammered pretty hard by today's ramped-up rental and mortgage costs.

Those aren't the only pressures they're facing, either. Younger adults are often struggling to balance living costs and unexpected expenses at a time when they're supposed to be finding their financial footing. Switching jobs, surviving benefit payment gaps and juggling other, more expensive debts can all mean occasional missed payments. I

nflation is pushing a lot of unavoidable costs up, from food to petrol, and many are having trouble holding it all together. On top of all that, there's been upheaval in the benefits system with the introduction of Universal Credit. It's supposed to be simpler and fairer, but it seems to have left many in the lurch when they need it most.

How to avoid missing mortgage payments

As for how to avoid missed payments, there are several routes to consider - some wiser than others. Borrowing from friends and family is a strong option if you're lucky enough to have someone who can help.

Not everyone does, obviously, which leaves many people leaning on overdrafts, loans and credit cards. Of course, all you're really doing is swapping one debt for another in a lot of these cases. Payday loans, in particular, can tide you over in the short term, but the interest can be eye-watering – over 1,000% representative apr in some cases!

You might be able to change your mortgage provider to one with a lower interest rate. That would drop your payment amounts. Alternatively, you may find yourself looking at options like reducing your living expenses or even selling up altogether for a cheaper home.

Make sure you're not paying too much tax

Of course, making sure you aren't overpaying your tax is a huge step in the right direction when you're pinching pennies. About 5 million of us are giving too much to the taxman each year, and hundreds of millions of that cash goes unclaimed.

Talk to RIFT about claiming back your overpaid tax from HMRC. It costs nothing to find out what you're owed and, with an average 1-year refund of £755.89, that tricky mortgage payment problem could vanish with the stroke of a pen.

Use RIFT to find out for free if you're due a tax rebate.