Could your debt be endangering your mental and physical health? It might be, according to a report recently published by CarefulCents.com, a personal finance website. The site reported that consumer debt was linked not just to psychological distress but to poor overall health.
According to the report, credit card debt is more stressful than any other kind. One-fifth of respondents to a survey by NerdWallet said that their credit card debt had harmed their health. Two-fifths said it had impacted their general happiness.
Further, credit card debt is increasing among Americans. According to the credit reporting company Experian’s last annual study, the average American owes over $6,500 across three credit cards. That’s a slight increase over the prior year.
According to the site CompareCards.com, many cardholders are unable to pay off their balances each month. According to a survey from WalletHub, over a third of credit cardholders said they feared that a large purchase (which most said was anything over $100) would cause them to max out their card.
As CarefulCents’ editor says, “The cost of debt shouldn’t be measured by interest rates alone. There is a psychological cost to be paid, as well.”
If your debt is causing you a considerable amount of stress and you don’t see a way out, it may be time to explore debt relief options, including bankruptcy. While bankruptcy is no one’s first choice, it can bring relief from collectors, money thrown away on interest payments and late fees and the anxiety that comes with trying to spread too little income across too many bills and expenses. An experienced attorney can provide information and advice based on your specific situation.