The Emotional Side Effects of Debt Explained

Even if you’re on top of your debts there can be side effects.

Side effects are normally something we would associate with medicine or treatment for an illness. However, they can also apply when you’re in debt. Commonly, it’s difficult for people to spot these side effects and you may not even realise you’re experiencing them until someone else points out a change in behaviour, circumstances or habits. However, side effects can be more common than you might think.

What kind of emotional side effects are there?

We all handle debt differently so one person won’t experience the same side effects of debt as another. You could find yourself going through just one – or a couple – of the most common side effects of debt, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Fear
  • Anger or resentment

Why do we feel emotional side effects when in debt?

There could be any number of reasons for experiencing side effects like these when you’re in debt, especially if you constantly need to find a loan to get by. And you don’t necessarily need to be in trouble with debt to go through them. You could find yourself getting anxious or stressed because…

  • Being in debt is stopping you from having disposable income to spend on going out with your friends, travel or hobbies
  • You can’t see any way to get debt free any time soon
  • You regret getting into debt in the first place
  • The debt that you have has become unaffordable and you are struggling to make repayments
  • You’re scared of what will happen because you have debt problems
  • Life has changed recently – for example, you’ve had a baby or lost your job – and now you’re finding it difficult to cope with your debts
  • You didn’t realise how much the debt that you applied for would cost to borrow
  • You think that no one else you know has got into debt and that you’re the only person with debt problems
  • You want to apply for a mortgage to buy a home but existing debts are affecting your eligibility

These are just a few of the reasons that may be behind experiencing the emotional side effects of debt especially if you have no credit check loans or other types of unsecured loans. If you find yourself identifying with any of these – or feeling something similar – then it may be time to take some action.

How to cope with the emotional side effects of debt

  1. Take stock of your debts. If you’re feeling anxious or fearful then debt could be the cause so it might be worth sitting down and working out how much you owe in total and how you’re going to repay it.
  2. Is there anything else going on in your life right now? Debt may not be the only cause of strong emotions.
  3. Feel your emotions. Often, negative emotions get stronger because we try to suppress them so if you’re feeling depressed or angry or sad, don’t try to pretend the feeling isn’t there.
  4. Start somewhere. Even a small step can begin to reduce the side effects of debt, whether that’s overpaying your debt by a small amount or asking someone else for help.