A recent study found that a lifetime of carrying unsecured debts such as credit card obligations and payday loans can lead to physical pain that interferes with daily activities.
The constant stream of stress and anxiety associated with such debts leads to poor health later in life, according to University of Missouri researcher Adrian Fritsch, a medical sociologist and associate professor at the MU School of Health Professions.
Fritsch and co-authors looked at data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics examining the financial health of nearly 8,000 baby boomers aged 28 to 40. They then looked at their physical health at age 50.
Their findings were published in the social science journal SSM – Population Health.
Fritsch says in a press release:
“Those with consistently high debt were 76% more likely to experience pain interfering with their daily lives compared to those without unsecured debt, and what surprised us most was that even people who paid off their debts over time were still 50% more likely to experience pain interference than Those who do not have unsecured debts.”
As people are stuck in struggling low-paying jobs, they take on more debt, which causes more stress that has negative health effects. These illnesses hamper the ability to function, Fritsch says, and the cycle continues.
This cycle is “hard to reverse once it has started,” Fritsch says. It also claims that most people fall into deep debt due to “systematic inequalities” that lead to “desperate conditions” that require them to borrow just to make ends meet.
Addressing these disparities is essential if we hope to end the downward spiral caused by rising levels of unsecured debt, she says.
“Ideally, we can prevent individuals from taking on unsecured debt in the first place, and that starts with increasing wages so that people can meet their basic needs.”
Looking for tips to remove your debt? Check out “8 Proven Ways to Get Out of Debt ASAP.”
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