High Levels Of Debt Tied To Poor Health, Lower Productivity

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018
Updated: August 29th, 2018
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

No one likes being in debt, but a recent study from Fidelity showed that having high levels of credit card debt, medical bills, student loans, and other financial stressors could actually be hazardous to your heath. Not only that, but being in debt can actually sap workers of productivity, preventing them from doing the very thing that could help them climb out of debt: excel at work.

The Total Well-Being survey, conducted by Fidelity, included responses from 9,315 workers across the nation, all of whom have retirement accounts with Fidelity. Participants included people ages 21 through 75, with a median age of 45, and were fairly evenly distributed according to gender. Two-thirds of participants had a college degree.

Paying off debt, saving money cause stress

Ninety-eight percent of those surveyed said they’d felt anxious sometime in the past three months, and much of that anxiety was linked to money. Thirty-four percent said they felt stressed about saving for the future, and 33 percent were worried about paying off debt. Other stressors included jobs (47 percent) and weight management (30 percent).

Being in a lot of debt seemed to cause more absenteeism at work; respondents with the highest levels of debt reported missing work twice as often as those with lower amounts of debt. Although medical debt was the leading indicator for workplace absenteeism, student loan debt and credit card debt also caused stress for many people.

Lower interest rates, balance transfers can help lower debt

For those who struggle to pay off debt, and whose overall wellness is being impacted by high levels of debt, getting a low interest credit card can be a good way to keep debts down. Unpaid charges on a credit card with a high APR can easily spiral out of control, causing folks to get in over their head financially. But a lower interest rate can keep payments more manageable. Anyone with a good or even average credit score can get access to a credit card for fair credit.

Balance transfers are another easy way to pay off debt faster. By transferring the debt to a card with a 0% interest rate, the amount can get paid off quickly, making it easier to set aside money for savings.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

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