Home Health & Wellness Health Issues Cause Debt Crisis for 23% of Brits

Health Issues Cause Debt Crisis for 23% of Brits

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New research has revealed that, worryingly, almost a quarter of Brits (23%) have accumulated debt because of illness or a health issue.

Currently, 20% of people in debt report that it causes bad health, and 58% of those experiencing poor health remain stuck with the debt burden.

The relationship between finance and health has increased searches for “help with health debt” by 200% over the last 12 months, which has prompted credit management company Lowell to conduct a nationwide study to discover how health issues for people in the UK affect their finances and personal lives. 

When asked how their debt affects their personal lives, more than half (56%) of those with debt from an injury or health issue say it isolates them socially from their friends and family. Almost one in five (19%) reveal that it is causing tension between themselves and their partners.

How has an injury or health issue affected people’s financial situations?

The rapid rise of energy bills has added financial pressure to those with medical equipment at home, with 43% claiming their fees have increased, with no way of controlling the increased bills or the equipment required. Over a third (37%) cannot work due to illness or injury, reducing their income and adding to the pressure of keeping up with payments.

Medical bill costs affect 36% of people’s finances, whilst 15% have had to pay to install new features in their house. One in 10 (11%) also pays for carers and support.

How has the debt affected families financially?

As well as personal finance issues, debt through health or illness problems also has a knock-on effect on families. 

Almost half (45%) claim benefits to cover extra costs, whilst one in five (21%) say their family has accumulated debt to support them. Family members also take up a second job for further income support (20%).

Worryingly, 65% of people in the UK admitted they didn’t know where to turn for support and advice on managing debt when experiencing a health, illness or injury issue. 

John Pears, UK CEO of Lowell UK, said: “Problems in health are always difficult for both the person experiencing them and their loved ones. This survey supports what we see day in and day out here at Lowell, which is the huge detrimental impact it can also have on their finances, exacerbating an already difficult situation.

“As well as health issues being the source of debt for many, the knock-on effect of the debt is causing relationship, social and family issues, and we want to ensure people know where to turn for support.”

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