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Creditfix LB 03-2017

Consumer Credit Debt Affecting Mental Health

Consumer credit debt is having a negative effect on the mental health of individuals according to new research by the UK’s largest personal insolvency practice Creditfix.

Increased anxiety, insomnia and even depression have been cited as problems directly caused by personal debt issues.

The survey carried out UK wide of individuals involved in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or Protected Trust Deed (IVA/PTD) with Creditfix showed that 74 per cent felt their personal debt situation had directly led to such problems.

Of these people citing poor mental health, 32 per cent experienced increased anxiety and 22 per cent suffered insomnia and sleep related problems.

15 per cent of the people reporting poor mental health said they had experienced depression as a direct result of their personal debt.

Other problems reported from the research included 6 per cent suffering from weight issues and 3 per cent experiencing panic attacks.

With many people trying to maintain employment, relationships and family life, it is considered that personal debt-related mental health issues can be a much wider problem in society, with the effects reaching far into communities and the wider economy.

Professor of Organisation and Consumption in the School of Business at the University of Leicester, Jo Brewis, commented:

‘Personal finance is now much easier to secure due to the huge range of providers and the advent of new financial services such as payday loans. However, it can also be very complex to understand, which increases the likelihood of defaults. Indeed, individual insolvency rates have been rising across the UK since mid-2015.’

‘The far-reaching effects of mental illness as a result of personal debt include a greater burden on the NHS as well as the considerable toll for individuals themselves, their families, communities, colleagues and employers.’

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