Study Highlights Link Between Health Issues and Problem Debts
June 21, 2018
As many as one in five people with problem debts are also struggling with some form of “additional vulnerability”, such as mental or physical illness.
That’s according to the debt help charity StepChange, which has revealed that roughly 20 per cent of the people who reach out for its support with financial problems are struggling with at least one other significant set of issues.
In around 43 per cent of cases, people with problem debts and an additional vulnerability are suffering with mental health issues, the charity has said.
Other common causes of additional problems for people grappling to get control of their debts include physical disabilities, having cancer and being in generally poor health.
Worryingly, as many as 40 per cent of the people with mental health problems who engaged with StepChange’s services during 2017 said that they view those problems as being the main reason why they’re in financial trouble.
Bereavements, relationship breakdowns and poor treatment by employers are other sources of struggle commonly cited by StepChange clients as being part of the picture as they look to get out of debt.
According to the charity’s own research, a lot of people with additional vulnerabilities have net incomes well below the national average.
For many people, having a low level of income means they often find themselves in the situation of having to pay out more money each month than they’re able to bring in.
People with additional vulnerabilities were also found to be more likely than most to be in receipt of state benefits and more likely to be in arrears on essential household bills.
“Among our clients, those who are vulnerable typically show higher levels of financial distress – but that shouldn’t be inevitable,” commented Phil Andrew, StepChange chief executive.
“While there has been progress, it’s clear that the finance sector, regulators and the debt advice sector could all still do more to help break the link between being vulnerable and being significantly worse off.”
If you live anywhere in Scotland and you’re finding it difficult to deal with your debt problems then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Call us directly to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.