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Debt Difficulties 'Causing Health Problems For Women'

Oct 13, 2007
An ever greater number of women in Ireland are developing ill health due to difficulties with managing their money, a new set of figures have revealed.

In data released by the Women's Health Council (WHC) and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), about 70 per cent of the females questioned have identified a connection between health problems and their struggles with debts, which may include areas of their finances such as secured loans, plastic cards and overdrafts. Meanwhile, a study of MABS clients also revealed that the majority (81 per cent) of females brought up either their emotional or mental health while in consultation with a debt adviser, as they often mention conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress.

Overall, just over two-thirds (68 per cent) of respondents reported that debt troubles have affected their health, with 27 per cent asserting that it has also had an impact on members of their family. Meanwhile, 40 per cent asserted that they have developed physical health problems ranging from difficulties with breathing and extreme tiredness to general aches and pains.

Findings from the groups also showed that some 12 per cent of females in Ireland do not have a medical or GP visit card despite being on a low income. And with 88 per cent of women questioned in the survey having children, MABS and WHC suggested that struggles with debt, from loans to credit and store cards, could have health implications for both parents and offspring.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Luddy, director of the WHC, said: "We already know that women in less well-off socioeconomic groups are at the greatest disadvantage with regard to health and have been found to be at greater risk of developing poor health. This study shows that being in debt also plays a considerable part in their experience of ill health."

As a result, the groups asserted that those developing difficulties with managing their money need more support so as to reduce the impact that problems paying loans, mortgages and other kinds of debt can have on both individuals and their families.

For consumers concerned that they may start to find themselves in an untenable position to handle their finances, taking the decision to apply for a low-rate loan as a means of debt consolidation could well be an advisable idea. Earlier this year, Helen Saxon, spokesperson for the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), reported that opting for such a consolidation loan is a more effective means of reducing debt than using credit cards, as generally they will incur a lower rate of interest, which in turn will see more of the borrower's money go towards reducing the amount they have in arrears.

However, the FLA representative advised those considering getting a debt consolidation loan to ensure that they will be able to afford repayments and to avoid going back into the red in the future. Ms Saxon also asserted that consumers are applying for a loan to fund spending "across the spectrum", from purchasing a car to financing home improvement work.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for the Loan Arrangers. Where visitors can compare cheap loans online, and apply for debt consolidation loans. To read more articles from Mark go to http://news.loan-arrangers.co.uk
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