It is common sense that excessive unpaid credit card debt can cause debtors to feel stressed and worried. Now scientific studies have also proven that stress and worry about finances can pose direct risks to our health.
A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found evidence that excessive debt has direct effects on our psychological and physical health. Examples of these effects are bouts of depression and a higher body mass index (BMI). Creating a vicious circle, these health risks, may lead to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
The effects of excessive credit card debt on our health may be found in different areas of the human psyche.
Firstly, it is important to know that unpaid debt, no matter whether it is excessive or not, causes uncertainty for the person who incurred it. This uncertainty of not knowing when and if the unpaid credit card debt can be paid off, how much the interest repayments will be, and how the repayments will be made can cause adverse psychological reactions.
Secondly, many consumers find it extremely frustrating, even debilitating, to see part of their wage go straight towards paying off their balance, and never be able to use it for themselves. The feeling of frustration becomes even worse when the unpaid debt is quite large and the consumer feels like they're not making any progress. In the worst case scenario, the reaction is like a child that wants immediate satisfaction - the consumer gets fed up with paying off their owings and never having any money. They get so frustrated that they want to buy something to reward themselves and as a result accumulate even more debt through interest free purchases or charged purchases.
Thirdly, many people associate excessive credit card debt with feelings of shame and guilt. The amount of unpaid debt signifies their own failures to them. This could range from a failure to provide for one's owns family, or failure to control spending habits, to failing in keeping up with the earnings of family and friends. Feelings of shame and guilt are usually magnified when other people become involved.
These are just three psychological aspects of managing credit card debt, but they already show that credit card debt problems are about more than just money - they involve our psychology, emotions and attitudes on every level.How Excessive Credit Card Debt Affects Your Health