Debt can make you physically ill
Image Source: Flickr User Leonid Mamchenkov
A survey by the American Psychological Association showed that nearly 65% of U.S. consumers rank finances as their top source of stress. Chronic stress can affect many areas of your life including your health, work, and personal relationships. Getting out of debt can be life-changing. Check out some of the ill-effects of debt stress and some ways to get your finances back on track.
Debt Stress Can Lead to Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in America and chronic stress can greatly increase your risk for this killer? Stress also increases the output of adrenaline in the body, which can increase your blood pressure into the unsafe zone and aggravate the risk of heart disease.
Debt Stress Can Put You at Risk for Unhealthy Habits
Your health can also be impacted by vices that can amp up when you’re worried about stress. Those with financial concerns are more likely to smoke, drink, and eat to excess, which can snowball into enhanced health risks. These bad habits can also decrease your interest in working out.
Debt Stress Can Put You at Risk for Depression
Worrying about money can also impact your mental health. Depression has been linked, in a number of studies, to financial problems. For instance, research from Northwestern University found that consumers with high student loan debt showed greater than normal depression symptoms.
Debt Stress Increases with Amount Owed
Any amount of debt can put you into a stressful situation if you can’t afford to pay it, but the Northwestern study found that a higher debt-to-asset ratio could trigger higher stress levels and those surveyed with greater debt reported higher blood pressure and worse general health.
Debt Stress Can Impact Your Job Performance
A survey by Willis Tower Watson found that those struggling with debt missed nearly twice as many days as workers without financial problems.They were almost twice as disengaged with their job and ranked their stress levels three times higher than those unconcerned about money problems.
Debt Is a Way of Life These Days
Lead author of the Northwestern study, Elizabeth Sweet, says, “We now live in a debt-fueled economy. Since the 1980s,American household debt has tripled. It’s important to understand the health consequences associated with debt.”
How Can You Get Out of Debt?
If your debt is moderate, cutting back on spending or finding a way to earn a bit more money may be enough of a solution to shed your debt. This may be the best approach if you have debt, aside from your mortgage and car loan, that can be paid off within a year or two.
If you have more debt than you can pay within a couple of years, you may need a more serious financial intervention like Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These differ greatly in how they work and there are unique requirements to qualify for each.
Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13
For consumers that don’t own a home, Chapter 7 may work better than Chapter 13 because it tends to be a better solution for those with little or no assets. If you own a home but don’t have a lot of equity in it and are current on payments, Chapter 7 can still work.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often better for those that have past-due balances on secured debt like their car loan or mortgage as well as unsecured debt. You must be earning enough of a wage to pay your current payments on these debts plus some on the past due balance each month.
To find out more about the benefits of bankruptcy, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. Call +1-888-234-4190 now for a free North Carolina bankruptcy consultation at one of our locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.