Money Matters

The cost of debt on your health

April 15, 2014

Does debt affect your health? We believe the answer is YES. We’re just starting to learn the hidden toll financial stress can take on your health and your life. It’s worse than you think.

Jean Chatzky Photo

Debt isn’t just bad for your finances, the hidden cost to your health from debt stress is significant. A growing body of research indicates that debt has dramatic costs on our mental and physical well-being. In August 2013, a study from Northwestern Medicine found that high financial debt is associated with higher diastolic blood pressure and poorer self-reported general and mental health in young adults.

And That’s Not All

The study joins an increasing body of research correlating high debt levels to unhealthy levels of stress. According to the American Psychological Association’s 2012 Stress in America report, money is the leading cause of stress. Approximately seven in 10 Americans report physical or non-physical symptoms brought on by stress, including irritability, anger, fatigue, overeating and changes in sleep habits.

What Do You Do About It?

These studies confirm what most of us know from our own experiences: having debt can cause stress. If you find yourself experiencing unhealthy levels of stress due to your debt, take heart…you can reduce stress just by starting with a few proactive actions:

  • List your current debts and minimum payments
     
  • Create a payment schedule

  • Create a system for tracking your monthly debt balances and payments

 

GreenPath Debt Solutions
As a member of Alliant Credit Union, you’re eligible to take advantage of GreenPath Debt Solutions, one of the industry’s most respected financial counseling programs – for free. To learn more about the budgeting advice and financial counseling available free to Alliant members, visit the Financial Counseling page on our website.

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