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Debt Concerns 'Can Have Devastating Impact'

Jan 15, 2008
Overspending over the Christmas and new year season may have a wider-ranging impact for consumers than just on their finances, new research shows.

A poll carried out by Mind revealed that over half of those surveyed spent more money during the festive period than they could afford to. Research from the institution suggested that 39 per cent of Britons used a credit card in the run-up to Christmas to help them cope with extra demands on their spending.

The mental health charity also reported that concerns about repaying debts, that may have been accrued through the likes of credit cards and loans, have seen about a fifth (19 per cent) of people state that they feel less able to manage their mental health. In addition, the study showed that 40 per cent of those surveyed believe that they are under increased levels of stress and anxiety, while a further 25 per cent of people feel more depressed as they attempt to get to grips with their spending.

Paul Farmer, chief executive for Mind, said: "Christmas is an expensive time of year but it's not just your wallet that could be hurt by excessive spending. Financial worries can have a devastating impact on mental health and can lead to serious problems such as stress, anxiety and depression."

Meanwhile, it was reported that a number of people now claim that they will now face difficulties in meeting essential demands on their finances such as utility bills, rent and food, as a consequence of spending over the Christmas period.

Due to such monetary pressures, it is possible that consumers are also encountering problems in paying back other demands on their spending such as credit cards and loans.

"We are concerned that the predicted credit crunch in 2008 will result in more people experiencing money worries which could have a detrimental impact on their mental health. That's why this year Mind is launching a major new study investigating the real toll that poverty and debt has on mental health," Mr Farmer added.

The charity has commissioned the Royal College of Psychiatrists to analyse the link between mental health and concerns about money management. The results of the study are due to be published during Mind Week, which starts on May 10th.

Although it is another instance of borrowing, taking out a cheap loan may be a means of reducing financial pressures. In using a loan as a means of debt consolidation, consumers might be able to alleviate a number of constraints on their spending by meeting various demands, such as credit and store cards, all at once. Consequently, by just having a single low-rate repayment to make, borrowers could find out that the amount of disposable income they have is increased. This type of loan may be especially useful for those who find that they have overspent during the festive period.

Last month, a study by online payment solution company PayPal showed that 86 per cent of consumers believe that they are "savvy shoppers". However, it was revealed just 38 per cent make sure that they create a budget and then stick to it.
About the Author
Tom Dawson is the Editor in Chief for Essentially Home Loans where visitors can apply for cheap loans online. We also specialise in debt consolidation loans, and secured loans
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