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The Impact of Debt on Your Psychological Well-being

Alex Caddel | September 07, 2023

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Summary: Unmanaged debt can cause serious stress that takes an emotional, mental, and physical toll. Luckily, there are ways to break your debt cycle. If you’ve been sued for debt, use SoloSuit to respond to the case and increase your chances of winning.

In the hustle and bustle of life, we often miss how closely our financial health is tied to how we feel. Research reflected in personal finance statistics shows that 19% of people have placed paying off their debts as a top priority for the year 2023. This is even more important than their other hopes and plans, showing how urgent this matter is. And in these numbers, we can see a strong story deeply connected to many people's lives.

A recent revelation by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute found that 86% of nearly 5,500 people dealing with mental health problems said their money issues made their mental health even worse. This isn't just about numbers; it's about real experiences.

However, statistics can't fully capture the weight of this issue. We'll explore deeper by delving into the cycle of stress from unmanaged debt, the emotional burden it brings, and its impact on mental and physical health. We'll also discuss seeking professional help, building financial literacy, and practicing self-care for a balanced well-being.

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Debt can cause a cycle of stress and anxiety

Unmanaged debt starts a cycle of stress and anxiety, creating a web of financial burdens. This cycle increases stress, affecting physical and mental well-being. At the same time, anxiety grows in the face of an uncertain financial future. Let's now explore its components further.

Debt causes emotional and mental burdens

In the world of financial challenges, the weight of debt can feel like a lot to handle. It's not just about numbers on a balance sheet; it's about the emotional toll it takes. The emotional load that comes with financial responsibilities can be like a constant pull, affecting your thoughts and feelings.

When bills and debts pile up, the emotional impact can be quite strong. It's like carrying a backpack filled with worries wherever you go. The knowledge that money is owed can create a lingering sense of unease. You might experience different emotions, from guilt to frustration—as financial obligations weigh heavily on your shoulders. This emotional burden can seep into various aspects of your life, affecting your relationships, work, and overall well-being.

One specific part of dealing with debt is the ongoing worry about repaying it. It's like a shadow that follows you, even during good times. This worry can sometimes feel like it's stopping you in your tracks as you think about how to manage payments or find ways to overcome college debt. The fear of not being able to pay or getting even more into debt can keep you awake at night, adding to your stress and anxiety. It becomes a cycle; the more you worry, the more it affects how you feel, making it tough to find a solution.

Debt leads to heightened stress

When it comes to dealing with unmanaged debt, stress levels can skyrocket. It's like an alarm system going off in your body. This stress doesn't just stay in your head; it really affects your body and mind.

Stress doesn't hold back when it comes to affecting you. Physiologically, it can put your body in a state of high alert, almost like you're always ready to face danger. This constant state of alertness can negatively impact your health, leading to headaches, stomach problems, and trouble sleeping.

Psychologically, stress can play tricks on your mind. It can make it harder to focus or remember things clearly. It might even cause you to feel irritable or anxious all the time. Imagine carrying a heavy backpack of worries; that's what stress does to your mental state.

The connection between your mind and body is strong, and unmanaged stress can pull them both down. Mentally, you might find it tough to cope with everyday challenges. Your self-esteem can take a hit, and you might even isolate yourself from friends and family. On the physical side, stress can weaken your immune system, making you more prone to illnesses.

The cycle between stress and unmanaged debt can become like a whirlpool, sucking you deeper. The more you worry, the more stress you feel, and the more it impacts your well-being.

Debt creates anxiety and uncertainty

When dealing with unmanaged debt, anxiety can creep in like an unwelcome guest who won't leave. It's that feeling of unease that gnaws at you, especially when you're unsure about what lies ahead.

Anxiety linked to debt often stems from the fear of the unknown. When your financial situation isn't stable, it's like walking on a tightrope without a safety net. This fear can make you imagine worst-case scenarios, creating a constant sense of worry. Just like a shadow that never leaves, the fear of not being able to meet your financial commitments can loom large.

And anxiety doesn't stay isolated; it spreads its influence. When financial worries take center stage, they can impact your ability to make decisions. Even simple choices can feel daunting, as if uncertainty surrounds them. This can extend to other areas of life, affecting relationships, work, and overall quality of life.

The cycle between anxiety and unmanaged debt is like a chain reaction. As anxiety grows, it fuels stress, and that stress feeds back into your anxiety. Breaking free from this cycle is essential for your well-being. In the upcoming sections, we'll discuss seeking professional help to navigate this complex terrain. We'll also explore how building financial literacy can empower you to make better decisions and regain control over your situation. Additionally, we'll touch on the significance of self-care and stress management techniques.

Get help to break your cycle of debt

Now, let's shift our focus to a solution. Breaking the cycle that binds unmanaged debt to stress and anxiety holds the key to restoring our mental well-being. In the upcoming sections, we'll explore practical steps to guide us towards a more balanced and secure future. These steps allow you to regain control over your life and find a healthier and calmer future.

When dealing with overwhelming debt, remember that you don't have to face it alone. Seeking help from professionals can make a real difference and guide you toward a better financial future.

Seek financial counseling and advice

Think of financial counseling as having a map when you're lost. It offers many benefits that can significantly improve your journey to regaining control of your finances. These experts know how to help you through the complexities of your financial situation.

  1. Insight from Experts: Financial counselors are skilled at navigating tricky financial situations. They can provide clear guidance, helping you understand your options.
  2. Tailored Strategies: A financial counselor can look at your situation and create strategies just for you. This personalized approach can make your journey to paying off debt more effective.
  3. Debt Management Plan: Professionals can assist you in making a plan to manage your debt. This plan breaks down the steps to pay off what you owe in an organized way.
  4. Help with Budgeting: Financial counselors can help by taking a look at your real pay stub and make a budget that fits your goals. Learning how to manage your money better can prevent future debt problems.
  5. Assistance with Negotiations: If needed, professionals can negotiate with the people you owe money to. This can lead to better terms and lower interest rates, making your debt easier to handle.
  6. Emotional Support: Dealing with debt stress can take a toll on your emotions. Financial counselors can provide practical advice and emotional support to help you cope.

Develop a structured debt repayment plan

One of the main things professionals can help with is making a structured repayment plan. This plan considers your income, expenses, and debt and lays out a clear path for paying off what you owe. It's like having a step-by-step guide that makes the journey less overwhelming.

Here's why developing such a plan is crucial:

  1. Clear Path: A structured plan shows exactly how you'll tackle your debts. It breaks down your payments so you can see progress and stay motivated.
  2. Organized Finances: With a plan, you'll have a clear picture of what you owe. This organization prevents missed payments and fees, helping you stay on track.
  3. Realistic Approach: Experts can help you design a plan for your income and expenses. This ensures your repayment goals are achievable.
  4. Debt-Free Date: A structured plan estimates when you'll be debt-free. This goal can motivate you to stick to your plan.
  5. Less Stress: Knowing you have a plan reduces stress. It takes away the uncertainty of managing debts and gives you control.
  6. Building Skills: Making a repayment plan introduces you to budgeting and financial planning. These skills are essential for long-term financial success.

By making a structured repayment plan, you're taking the necessary steps to break the cycle of stress from unmanaged debt. Remember, this journey is about more than just paying debts – it's about taking back your financial freedom and setting the stage for a better financial future.

Build your financial literacy

In the world of finances, knowledge holds the key to empowerment. Building your financial literacy not only helps you navigate the present but also shapes a more secure future. Let's delve into its significance and how knowledge can make a difference.

Financial literacy serves as your compass in the world of money. It's about understanding critical concepts like budgeting, interest rates, and credit scores. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions aligning with your goals and circumstances. You'll be less likely to fall into traps that could lead to unmanaged debt, and you'll have the confidence to pursue opportunities that strengthen your financial position.

Here are some basic resources to help you increase your financial literacy:

  • Books on Financial Literacy: Some of the best books for financial education include the following: "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyosaki, "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey, "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, and "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George S. Clason.

  • Websites: Free websites can be a great foundation for financial learning. Websites like Investopedia (,, and National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) ( offer comprehensive financial education, covering various financial topics with articles, tutorials, and videos.

  • Online Courses: You don’t even have to leave your own home to receive financial education. The Khan Academy ( provides free online courses on a variety of financial topics including saving and investing, credit, and insurance. And other platforms like Coursera & Udemy have a variety of courses on financial topics, from basic personal finance to more advanced topics.

  • 4. Podcasts: Here are some of the best podcasts on finance: The Dave Ramsey Show, BiggerPockets Money, So Money with Farnoosh Torabi, and Planet Money from NPR.

  • 5. YouTube Channels: Several YouTube channels can help with your financial literacy, such as Graham Stephan who discusses personal finance, investing, and real estate, The Financial Diet, which offers tips and insights on budgeting, spending, and overall personal finance, and Investing with Rose which focuses on investing and building wealth.

  • Apps: Some web-apps can help you improve your financial knowledge all from your phone. For example, Mint helps you manage your personal finances by tracking expenses, setting budgets, and checking credit scores. Other apps, like PocketGuard, connect all your financial accounts and give you a clear picture of your finances. You Need a Budget (YNAB) is another app designed to help you get out of debt, save money, and more.

  • Financial Institutions: Many banks and credit unions offer free workshops and webinars about budgeting, investing, retirement planning, and other financial topics. Check with your local institutions.

  • Financial Planners and Advisors: Sometimes, speaking directly with a financial planner or advisor can provide tailored advice. Make sure to do thorough research to find a reputable professional. Consider looking for those who have a fiduciary duty.

  • Community Workshops & Classes: Many local community colleges, adult education programs, and community centers offer classes on personal finance and financial planning.

Imagine having a clear roadmap of your financial landscape, that's the power of financial literacy. It provides insights into where your money goes, how to optimize savings, and how to plan for future expenses. This empowerment extends to comprehending your debts, prioritizing the right ones, and devising effective repayment strategies. With financial literacy, you assume command, ensuring that your choices are guided by knowledge rather than circumstance.

Remember, as with any source of information, always do your own due diligence. Financial strategies and advice that work for one person may not be suitable for another, so it's essential to understand your own goals and situation. It's also a good idea to continuously update your knowledge, as the financial world is dynamic and ever-changing.

As you embark on the journey of enhancing your financial literacy, remember it's an ongoing process. Seek knowledge, ask questions, and learn from experiences.

Respond to your debt lawsuit

When your debt situation becomes unmanageable, you may find yourself entangled in a debt collection lawsuit. If this is the case for you, it’s important to defend yourself by filing an Answer to the suit.

An Answer helps you avoid losing the cause automatically through default judgment. If granted, a default judgment can give your creditor (or the debt collector) the right to garnish your wages, seize your property, and put a freeze on your bank account.

But how do you write an Answer to your debt collection suit? Here are six tips:

  1. Keep your Answer brief.
  2. Deny as many claims as possible.
  3. Add your affirmative defenses.
  4. Use standard formatting and style.
  5. Include a certificate of service.
  6. Sign the Answer document.

To learn more about these six tips, check out this blog post or watch the following video:


The stress and anxiety caused by debt create a harmful cycle that can affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. To break free from this cycle, consider seeking help from professionals whose expert guidance and structured plans provide the tools needed to resolve your debts for good. Financial literacy is just as important – it helps you make informed decisions and take control of your finances.

What is SoloSuit?

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You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

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