A recent report from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) states that 8 out of 10 people say their problems with debt have affected their personal lives.
The report found that debt negatively impacted relationships with family, their health and their ability to work. 37% of people said their relationship with their partner had been affected, while 22% said debt had caused problems in relationships with their children.
In health terms, problems with debt had caused issues for half of the 372 people surveyed. These included everything from palpitations and hair loss to nervous breakdown and cessation of menstruation. Notably, in all the people surveyed only 6% claimed debt problems had no impact on their health.
What factors lead to debt problems?
It is easy to blame debt problems on lack of budgeting, but this report actually dispelled that myth, revealing the reason most people had gone into the red was not due to overspending. In those surveyed, there were a number of reasons why people had succumbed to debt problems, many of which could be linked to the current economic climate.
Redundancy, pay freezes and reduced working hours had caused almost half of the problems for those surveyed, while overspending only accounted for 15% of those in debt. Factors also included the expense of having children, illnesses and the breakdown of a relationship.
How to stop debt affecting your health
There is no doubt about it, debt causes a great deal of worry. Typically, people in debt will lose sleep over things like losing their home, facing bailiffs or not being able to feed their family.
The first step to overcoming debt worry is the realization that worrying about debt is not going to solve the problem. You need to take stock of what you owe and understand that getting rid of it will not be an overnight job. Take a look at your debt and admit you have a problem that needs fixing and then be proactive about it.
If you feel ashamed about the amount of debt you are in, you’re not alone. The CCCS survey found that only 34% of people had admitted to their partners that they were in difficulty. Ten per cent of people had told no one at all.
Sharing the burden by telling your nearest and dearest can help lighten the load and ease your worrying.
If you are feeling threatened by debt collectors and imagine burly men trying to break down your door, it is time to organize your thoughts and start think more rationally. Creditors only operate this way on TV. Mostly, they are happier to take reduced payments from you as long as they get their money back in the long term.
Stop your irrational thoughts and pick up the phone and speak to your creditor to arrange a way to pay them back, or if you don’t want speak to them yourself, ask a dedicated debt management or IVA company to do it on your behalf. They will be able to negotiate a deal with your creditors, allowing you to pay back what you owe over a number of years and may be able to prevent the addition of extra interest and charges.
In the majority of cases, the way to stop debt affecting your health is to stop worrying about it and start dealing with it.
This guest article was written by Francesca on behalf of IVA Expert. If you’re stressed out by debt, click here to visit their website and find out if you qualify for an IVA.