The psychological perks of paying off debt

Less stress, improved health
Less stress, improved health © YanLev/

It's no surprise that owing buckets of money puts a strain on life, but did you know that it's ranked as one of the most stress-inducing life events? "Getting into debt beyond means of repayment" is ranked No. 5 on the Society of Occupational Medicine's 2001 "Life Events Inventory," which ranks the psychosocial stress of 100 life events. The list ranks debt as more stressful than finding out your partner cheated on you.

That stress takes a mighty toll on your body, says Stovall.

"Stress is one of the drivers for health conditions related to cardiovascular disease, allergies, diabetes (and) gastrointestinal disorders," says Stovall.

That's why paying off debt can result in physical healing. "When people pay off debt, they're going to say 'My stomach feels better, my heart feels better,'" says Stovall.

When Kandy Hildebrandt and her husband were paying off $122,000 of debt, the stress hurt the Wisconsin couple's health.

Then they paid off their debt in four and a half years. The stress melted away. Balance has been restored to the family's finances, which Hildebrandt says is "awesome."


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