High human cost of debt problems
The massive impact of debt problems on workers has been revealed in a new survey.
A report by leading debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) found two thirds of people in debt admitted their ability to carry out their job had suffered a 'negative impact'.
Respondents claimed they couldn't concentrate and had made mistakes as a direct result of worrying about their financial situation.
And health had also been badly affected - nearly half (46%) of the respondents said they had suffered health problems, including nervous breakdowns, loss of hair, palpitations and cessation of menstruation.
The survey of 372 CCCS clients discovered that nearly half (44%) had been plunged into debt because they'd been made redundant, had a pay freeze or had reduced working hours imposed on them.
Nearly 5% said their money problems had been caused by having children.
Almost 15% acknowledged they were now in debt because of 'overspending'.
Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director at CCCS, says that while it it not surprising that debt problems have a negative effect on people's lives, he was shocked and saddened at the extent of the human misery uncovered in the survey.
''There is a lot of focus on the economic implications of the personal debt crisis but we are only starting to understand the human cost of debt problems,'' he said.
''One of the things that struck me about the research was that only 15% of people had a debt problem because of overspending. Almost half had a debt problem because of redundancy, a pay freeze or reduced working hours, while others were left over-indebted because of a relationship breakdown, illness or having children.
''This busts the myth that recklessness with credit is the main cause of debt problems. Rather, it is life itself, over which we often have no control. Such people need sympathetic and practical support to guide them through this crisis so that it won' scar them and their families for life.''