According to a new University of Missouri research, the stress of carrying credit card debt into adulthood is connected to bad health, including joint discomfort or stiffness that interferes with daily tasks. Beyond the stress of debt repayment, having a high debt load may also make it difficult for a person to afford health-protective services.
The study noted that the amount of unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, payday loans, or medical bills, has been increasing more quickly than income over the past few decades, even though the findings come at a time when there is greater financial insecurity due to the pandemic around the world.
Debt and Health
Why does debt load have such a cumulative effect on health? Although the causes can differ, they usually come down to three. First of all, if you have a lot of debt, you won’t have as much money for things like preventive care or even basic health care, which can help you feel better physically and avoid getting sick. Sometimes because of this, you have to deal with bad credit personal loans Canada guaranteed approval and this disregard for your well-being over time hurts your health, especially as you get older.
Second, being heavily indebted can be stressful. To illustrate, having a lot of stress can also make you have a lot of debt. The two sides of this coin can compete with one another, leading to increased stress, debt, and ill health. It’s also important to remember that this cycle might be influenced by one’s health. When one is young, poor health can lead to increased debt, which can cause additional stress and deteriorate health at one age.
Finally, stress related to debt repayment frequently builds up over time and manifests as a toll on your health.
As people age, pain frequently intensifies. It takes time for the health effects of the continual stress that comes with being trapped in a debt cycle to manifest. According to the research, when it happens, it can lead to intensified discomfort, which can prevent someone from working or make the day job more challenging to handle.
Some people may gain weight as a result of worrying about credit card debt. Insufficient exercise, increased fast food intake, binge drinking, and increased television viewing are all associated with credit card debt, according to one study. Obesity and weight gain, of course, increase your chance for further illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.
Numerous scientific studies confirm the hard reality that stress related to credit card debt is bad for your physical health. Chest pain and headaches are other signs. However, those could be signs of mental health problems, which can also be a result of anxiety.
More Canadians than ever are depressed. Imagine how many Canadians experience depression but don’t report it: 22% reported having symptoms.
You’re much less inclined to talk about being depressed if credit card debt is the cause. Debt still carries a stigma that makes talking to family, friends, and even professionals about it difficult.
Did you know that anxiousness can be felt but not necessarily felt? According to one physician, you may be “adapted to” experiencing extended periods of high stress. Sounds recognizable? Unfortunately, because credit card debt worry is so common, we could be led to believe that it is normal. However, specialists warn that it can result in anxiety disorders, which can manifest as irritability, headaches, and restless nights.
Your risk for other major health concerns associated with depression might quickly grow if you add despair and anxiety to an already busy life. Despite the debilitating health impacts and risks of credit card debt, assistance is always available.
Paying off the loan
Despite the long-lasting effects of credit card debt, paying off a sizable balance gives you the best chance to enhance your future health—and increases your chances of achieving financial independence. Bank of Canada shows changes in payment shares at different transaction values from 2009 to 2017. Growth in credit card shares was responsible for the decline in cash shares for transactions above $50.
Look at your budget first, dividing expenses into fixed and variable costs. The fixed expenses, such as your rent or mortgage, will roughly stay the same from month to month. Each month, variable expenses such as food, entertainment, eating out, and other prices will change.
You might not be able to significantly reduce fixed costs because they remain constant month after month. However, if you have fixed costs, like cable fees, you can cut back on them to save money. If not, consider variable costs and decide on a spending level that will allow you to live within it while still having money left over to pay off debt.
Many people will then use the extra funds left over after reducing variable expenses to prioritize paying down their highest-interest debt first. Others will concentrate on the least expensive debt to get the loan repayment process moving. In either case, be sure to settle all of your debts at least to the required minimum.
Once one loan is paid off, transfer the monthly payment made to that debt into the obligation with the second-highest interest rate or the next-smallest debt.
Of course, as the researchers note, some of the problems with debt have less to do with one’s ability to pay off the loan and more to do with the fact that many people lack livable salaries and access to health care.
There are further impacts of credit card debt that could harm one’s health. The possible inability to pay for healthcare, prescriptions, or simply budget for healthy food are just a few effects of debt.
Skipping checkups with the doctor or preventative treatment can also raise the risk of developing numerous illnesses, such as cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Additionally, having credit card debt can make it more difficult to finance stress-relieving activities like working out, traveling, and spending time with loved ones, all of which improve health and wellness.