In a recent PayPlan survey, 93% of clients reported that seeking debt advice improved their mental wellbeing and that they felt a reduction in their stress levels.
Being in debt or worrying about money can have a negative impact on someone’s mental health, as client’s reported feelings of stress (91%), anxiety (84%) and depression (68%). Almost half of people in debt told us they has visited their doctor about the affect it was having on their mental health, yet doctors only recommended they seek debt advice as part of their treatment in a third of cases.
What are the biggest concerns for client’s in debt?
The number one concern of client’s in debt is how they are going to afford the basics, and pay their bills (88%). Others feel like they don’t have anyone to talk to about their problems and a third were worried about how it would impact their performance at work.
Benefits of talking about debt
Seeking debt advice can have real, measurable effects on individual’s mental health. A huge 95% of clients said they feel confident in managing their money after seeking professional debt advice and 69% can now open up to friends and family about their situation as a result of seeking help.
What more can be done nationally to support people with debt advice?
Over two thirds said they found the support of professional free debt adviser PayPlan’s online journey to be beneficial for their mental health, as they are able to complete and digest important financial in their own time.
Clients in debt believe there is more that can be done nationally to help people stay debt-free and seek support sooner such as financial education in schools or encouraging more people to talk about debt generally. Over half of clients also feel that doctors and employers should refer to free debt advice providers.
Top three steps you can take to become debt-free
- Write it down – being open and honest with yourself about what you actually have coming in and going out is vital to be able to create a realistic budget.
- Seek help straight away – if you’re worrying about finances, you certainly are not alone. Talk to a friend, family or a professional about your situation straight away. You will find that there is always a solution.
- Talk about it – whether you are in financial difficulty or not, the best thing you can do to support those around you is to make sure that debt isn’t a taboo subject. So many people report they felt being in debt wasn’t normal, or that they felt like they had done something wrong to be in their situation. Debt can be caused by so many different factors; there isn’t a stereotype of someone who is in debt.
If you ever get to the point where you feel you need support with your finances, you’re struggling to pay bills or you’re in debt, then speak to one of our PayPlan’s trained advisers by visiting our dedicated Health and Wellbeing advice page or Pro’s Mental Health resource page.