In the Red and Got the Blues: Debt Fuels Depression
Here's a study whose findings we've all seen in action, but maybe never identified: debt can be depressing. Literally. Here's this, from Boston College's Financial Security Project:
Lawrence Berger, an associate professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, determined that a 10-percent increase in the dollar amount of an individual’s debt increases his or her depressive symptoms by 14 percent.
The findings, the post explains, are specific to short-term debt like credit card debt.
That can sound familiar to folks who try to avoid thinking about those or other bills. I recently read a pretty interesting post on a couple that had deluded themselves into thinking they had very little debt at all—entirely ignoring their credit card debt:
I was still feeling pretty good about their prospects when I asked them to go home and make up a list of all their debts.
The results were alarming: In addition to the $15,000 in car loans, they were also carrying a camper loan for just under $10,000, and over $25,000 in credit card debt, for a total of about $50,000 in consumer debt. The worst part was that several of their credit cards were department store cards, and they were paying 18 to 19 percent interest.