Third of people ‘feel their finances are negatively affecting mental wellbeing’

One in three (33%) people feel their current financial situation is having a negative impact on their mental wellbeing, a survey has found.

A similar proportion (31%) said their finances are negatively impacting their emotional wellbeing, according to the research for HSBC UK.

The release of the research coincides with Debt Awareness Week (March 18-24).

Nearly one in four (24%) people who have taken out non-mortgage credit said that covering everyday living expenses was the main reason for their most recent loan.

A fifth (19%) said that an unexpected expense was behind their most recent borrowing.

Some people had also taken out informal loans from friends or family members.

Only around half (51%) of borrowers said they know the interest rates on their current debts.

One in nine (11%) had combined their debts into one place to make them more manageable.

Six in 10 (60%) people surveyed said that they are confident in their financial resilience and ability to handle unexpected financial expenses in the next 12 months.

And just over half (52%) reported feeling confident that they can achieve their financial goals for the next year.

Clearing debt was the top long-term financial goal in the survey, followed by saving up for a big purchase other than a house, retiring early, becoming mortgage-free and saving for a house.

Censuswide surveyed 2,000 people across the UK in March.

Madhu Kejriwal, head of unsecured lending at HSBC UK, said: “If you feel your financial situation is impacting your mental or emotional wellbeing, you’re not alone.

“Reaching out to your bank is a good place to start – from free ‘always on’ webinars to one-to-one financial health checks for customers and non-customers alike – we are here to help.

“And if you have debts from multiple providers, free, impartial advice from organisations like StepChange Debt Charity can also help.”

“And often, those life events make it hard to think about or tackle financial problems that can build up. This can then compound the emotional stigma, which makes people feel like they’re not doing the right thing, making it all the harder to get back on track.

“The best thing to do if you’re struggling with debt is to talk to your lender or a free independent debt advice firm early …

“All lenders should provide a range of tailored options suitable for your circumstances which may include options to make your payments more affordable, refinancing your debts, deferring repayments for a short period and providing you time and space to seek free independent debt advice.

“The sooner that you contact your lender the more likely you are to feel back in control and on top of your financial situation.”

The Government-backed MoneyHelper website has tools to help people manage their money and website has information about support with living costs.

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