Nearly a quarter of grandparents help support their adult grandchildren financially, even if it results in them having to borrow money to do so, a survey found.
According to MoneySupermarket.com, 24 per cent of grandparents with grandchildren over 18 help them financially, and are then forced to turn to savings, credit cards, overdrafts, and even payday loans to tide them over.
The survey of more than 2,000 adults also found that almost a third (32 per cent) of parents still help to support their over-18s financially.
Most of the over-18s relying on "greyday loans" from parents and grandparents use the money to help with general cost of living expenses, funding education and helping with debt repayments, the survey found.
The cost of providing this financial assistance has come at a cost to the older generation, as more than half (46%) of parents and grandparents said this meant they dipped into their savings, while 14 per turned to credit cards. A further 14 per cent said they were pushed into using their overdrafts.
A third of those questioned said that helping their children and grandchildren has left them unable to save as much as they wanted, and a further 18 per cent said they now have debts which they cannot afford to pay off.
Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySupermarket.com said: "Parents and grandparents have always traditionally provided financial support towards their children's life goals such as buying their first home or helping with a car purchase, but with the nation's wallets pushed to the limits, it is clear this support has grown significantly."
He went on: "The research also demonstrates how many families are struggling with even just the basic general cost of living and coupled with a lack of pay increases this means many are unable to clear their debts."