It’s no secret that student loan debt creates a financial strain for many Americans. It’s believed that the total amount of student loan debt triples the amount of credit card debt in the United States.
Few people are more encumbered by this trend than millennials. The Federal Reserve revealed that overall debt for people between 19 and 29 years old has reached its highest level since the Great Recession. Between student loans, stagnant working wages, and a rising cost of living, young Americans often find themselves in a difficult financial place.
Experts revealed the impact of this financial strain back in March. Research shows that millennials and teenagers comprise the group with the greatest increase in depression diagnoses.
How debt affects your mental health
Researchers believe the spike in depression from financial stress can lead to anxiety and feelings of failure and hopelessness. Consequently, managing debt has led young people to postpone things like marriage, buying a home and having children.
If you can relate to this situation, you may wonder what you can do to get your debt under control. Any action you take can help ease your anxiety as you take strides towards handling your debt. A few things to try to help manage your debt includes:
- Talking to your creditors. If you haven’t discussed your stress over repaying your student loans with your loan issuer, you may be missing an opportunity. Many lenders offer different monthly payment options and want to help as much as they can. Talk to your lender about a more manageable payment and they may be able to work with you.
- Finding a second job. A part-time job is a great way to add extra income to catch up on bills. Find something you enjoy and wouldn’t mind devoting a few extra hours to per week to.
- Filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a great way to secure a fresh start for you or your family if you’re eligible. If you have steady income, you may qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy which allows you to repay your debt over three to five years while stopping harassing calls from creditors.
Don’t let debt affect your mental health
If you’re struggling with debt and it’s affecting your mental health, there are steps to take to ease your concerns. Whether it’s creating a budget, finding a second job or filing bankruptcy, it’s important to take any steps you can to not only manage your debt but also your mental health.