- A new survey reveals how heavily debt weighs on the mental health of millions of Americans.
- Most people feel like they can’t continue their current lifestyle because of inflation.
- Half of Americans are worried about the legacy burden of their parents’ debt problems.
NEW YORK – The average American loses more than 200 hours of sleep every year thinking about money they owe and has three “debt nightmares” a week.
A survey of 2,000 adults looked at the impact of debt on their daily lives and found people reported increased anxiety (38%), stress (33%) and mood swings (32%) because of their debt problems. More than two-thirds of respondents who have been in debt say it caused them to withdraw from the things they love (69%).
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Yet three in five respondents also admit to feeling pressured to spend money they don’t have so they can hide their financial situation. Three in four respondents would sacrifice doing and buying the things they want, as 71% constantly think about their debt.
If they were in debt, people would also sacrifice vacations (49%), date nights (38%) or attending a wedding (36%) because of their debt problems. A third of respondents would even say “no” to an evening with friends.
When it comes to the most worrisome bills, many agree that credit card debt is the worst (45%), followed closely by medical loans (34%) and mortgage debt (32%). . Above all, most agree that getting out of debt gives them the impression of regaining control of their life (87%).
People worry so much about debt that nearly three in five people have even considered postponing their wedding to avoid inheriting their partner’s debt. Another 54% think having a partner in debt is a major reason for considering divorce. Meanwhile, 70% fear they will no longer be able to afford their lifestyle due to inflation, and 77% say carrying debt would impact their retirement plans.
Debt looks like a permanent “dark cloud” to most people
As for the future, three out of four want to pay off all their debts so that their children do not have to suffer. Half of the respondents are also afraid of possibly inheriting the debt from their parents. Almost three-quarters of respondents wish there were tools and resources available to help them when they are deeply in debt (73%).
“For those struggling with what seems like insurmountable debt, you don’t need to tackle it alone,” Natalia Brown, director of client operations at National Debt Relief, said in a statement. “Don’t hide your financial situation, have honest conversations with your family for emotional support, and consider debt relief options to help you deal with your debt.”
Most of those who have been in debt agree that their experience has permanently affected their view of finances (78%). Seven in 10 people feel like a “dark cloud” hangs over them when they have to pay a bill or loan, and the same percentage of people feel that debt has permanently affected them mentally (71 %).
“Unfortunately, the results of this investigation do not surprise me,” adds Brown. “I see the emotional and physical impact of debt on people every day. It’s important for people to not only get out of debt, but also learn to live with financial confidence while instilling healthy practices for remain financially free.