Debt Problems and Your Health

Debt Problems

Almost everyone has debt. Some debts are good, such as the purchase of an investment that will appreciate over time. A mortgage or post-secondary education can fall into this category. Bad debts are the opposite, the purchase of items that quickly lose their value. Debt problems are generally caused by the former getting very out of control.

Credit card debt and payday loans are examples of bad debts. With high-interest rates, not paying off the balance when it is due can quickly lead to a downward spiral that sometimes culminates with payday loans.  And those are the worst type of debt to carry.

Anyone in this situation will attest to the fact that debt problems affect your health very directly.  And if this is the root cause of your health problems, then you must seek out credit counselling for it because medical intervention alone may not cut it.

Lack of Concentration

Not having enough money to pay the bills each month can be all-consuming. This is especially true if the circumstances that caused it are beyond your control. Examples include an unexpected illness, death in the family or a marriage breakdown.

Many individuals with precarious and unpredictable jobs face similar problems.  They use credit cards to manage bills that arrive on a regular cycle when the pay check does not.

In all those circumstances, constant worrying about debt problems will make it difficult to concentrate or relax.  It impacts everything. Your performance at work will suffer, along with your mood and relationships with loved ones and friends.

Debt Problems and Insomnia

Debt can keep you up at night – literally. Fear of eviction, home foreclosures and losing your possessions can trigger episodes of insomnia in many forms.

You can have problems falling asleep. Or the opposite could happen where you fall asleep but wake up in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep.  Insomnia can leave you feeling tired and unprepared to tackle another day of life.


People in debt often suffer in silence. This is not a problem most share with their friends and family. Furthermore, restricted finances simply leave you without discretionary spending power to enjoy a night out on the town. That is why many people with debt problems feel isolated and very lonely.  This seeming lack of support can lead to anxiety, stress and depression.

Anxiety, Stress, Depression

It comes as no surprise that individuals with debt problems exhibit worse psychological health than those who do not. Anxiety, stress, depression and suicidal tendencies that accompany extended depression, can make debt a very overwhelming problem to tackle on your own.

Trained psychologists who recognize debt problems to be the cause of anxiety, stress and depression will sometime recommend credit counselling to be included in the treatment.

Physical Illnesses

Universal Health Care allows Canadians free access to a primary care physician. Yet, people with with debt problems may avoid filling medications or be less likely to see professionals whose services are not covered by the government. These include dentists, physiotherapists and optometrists. Physical illness can therefore be an inadvertent side effect of extended debt problems.

In addition, people with debt often complain about more stomach ulcers and migraines.  And they are also at a higher risk for high blood pressure and cardiac disease compared to people with no debt.

Debt Problems – Seeking Help

For anyone suffering silently through any of this, know that there is help. Credit counselling can be a welcome relief for most people with debt management problems. Some individuals simply require a few sessions in financial literacy.  And for others, we arm you with the tools to help you manage your household budget to keep your spending in line with your income.

With more serious debt problems, we offer you concrete solutions to pay off your debt. And then, we set you up with the skills to use credit wisely so you remain debt-free for the rest of your life.

Family and Credit Counselling Services, a blended community-based agency is a non-profit offering debt counselling & management as well as family/individual support services within York region.

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