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Emotional Effects of Having Debt

If you are an adult in the United States, chances are you have debt. Whether it’s debt from credit cards, school loans, car payments, etc., the average Americans carries over $35,000 in personal debt excluding home mortgages.

Being in debt can often be stressful and overwhelming, especially for individuals who live paycheck to paycheck or are caught by surprise when life throws them a curve ball, such as an unexpected job loss or emergency room bill.

Individuals with debt may experience a number physical and emotional symptoms, including: 

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Denial
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Panic
  • Physical Aches & Pains
  • Problems with Relationships/Friendships
  • Regret
  • Resentment
  • Stress

Denial and stress are two very common traits associated with being in debt. Individuals may be in denial if they underestimate how much they owe, they think they have their payments under control, or they believe that having debt is part of life, etc. A stress study done by the American Psychological Association, found that 72% of Americans reported feeling stressed about money.

The good news is that getting out of debt is possible if you are willing to put in the effort and stick to a plan. But rest assured, once you put a dent in your debt and start paying it off, the benefits are beyond worth it!

Like the emotional effects caused by being in debt, you will experience emotional effects by getting out of debt—the main difference is that the emotions will be positive instead of negative.

Individuals who pay off debt often experience the following:

  • A Sense of Accomplishment
  • Enhanced Positive Mindset
  • Financial Freedom and Security (i.e. you control your finances versus your finances controlling you)
  • Improved Finances and Credit Scores
  • Improved Relationships
  • Less Stress
  • More Happiness
  • More Savings
  • Peace of Mind
  • Relief
  • Responsible Spending (i.e. spend on things you desire versus bills)

“My financial life began turning around when I took responsibility for it.” – Dave Ramsey

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