Being in debt can be a difficult time. It can have physical as well as mental effects, with all that stress taking its toll on everything from general health to sleep patterns and even relationships. Research from Debt Advisory Centre has revealed just how much of an impact it can have.
The research found that 18% of respondents think they have a debt problem – which according to their estimates, equates to around 9 million adults – with 35% saying they worry about it all the time. A further 36% said they worry about their debts most of the time, with just 5% saying that being in debt doesn't worry them at all.
However, the stress of debt can manifest itself in different ways, with the results also showing that 56% of those with a debt problem admit to having disrupted sleep as a result. Others say that their ability to enjoy life has suffered (55%), while 53% believe that their mental health has suffered and 31% even say it's negatively affected their relationship with their partner.
A further 30% say that their physical health has suffered, while 22% have noticed a strain on their relationship with other family members, and 15% say their friendships have even suffered as a result of being in debt. This is why it's so important to take action before debt worries get out of control, starting by speaking to your lenders, or taking it to the next level and seeking professional debt advice.
"Debt isn't just a financial crisis – it impacts almost every part of people's lives, from their health to their relationships," said Melanie Taylor of Debt Advisory Centre. "The best way to deal with debt is to talk about it. Debt advisors won't judge you, but they can help you find a solution. Customers tell us that they feel better after just one conversation with an advisor.
"Similarly, too many people keep their debt worries hidden from their family; they are often afraid that they'll think less of them because they've got into financial difficulty. In our experience the opposite is true – loved ones are supportive and help ease the emotional burden of living with debt."
So don't bottle it up! Ignoring a debt problem is one of the worst things you can do, as it could get a lot worse if you don't take action. Speak to people who could help, including family members. Even though they may not be able to help physically, just speaking about it can take a weight off your shoulders. And remember – you're not alone.
Read our guide on steps to becoming debt-free.
Find out how to deal with debt – complete with links to organisations that can help.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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