Credit Card Debt Linked to Depression
A new research study shows a distinct link between credit card debt and depression. The study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison assessed the impact different types of debt have on depressive symptoms, and how those symptoms affected different sectors of the population.
The study looked at close to 8,500 working-age adults. Researchers found the correlation between depression and credit card debt to be strongest among unmarried people, the less educated, and people past the age of retirement.
Lead author Lawrence Berger believes that understanding how different forms of debt impact mental health could lead to better lending options that reduce financial stress.
“New debt contracts could be offered to vulnerable borrowers and the population sectors we identified could be targeted with help in building their financial capacity. The findings could also be used to help mental health practitioners better understand the impact of clients’ borrowing habits on depression.”
Some of the suggested changes to the lending structure include mandatory financial counselling and the ability to cancel a card within a certain time frame.
While it may be years before ideas come to fruition, continued studies like this will help the credit card industry and psychologists alike better understand how to help people through financial struggles.