Debt is a fact of life for millions of Americans – but knowing that fact doesn’t always make it easier to deal with, on the day to day. 

According to data from 2018, the average American reports having about $38,000 in personal debt, with that number going up to more than $135,00 for households. Personal debt can be brought on by any number of factors, and many people cite credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, medical bills, and student loans as common sources of debt. 

While debt is a common and extensive problem in this country, it can still be difficult to deal with on a personal level. It’s hard to overstate the impact that a person’s finances can have on every aspect of their daily life – from their personal relationships, to their work, to their mental and physical health and well-being. 

If your quality of life is suffering because of mounting financial obligations and debts, you’re certainly not alone – and it’s important to remember that there are options out there for effective, lasting relief. 

The Impacts of Debt: Beyond the Pocketbook

It’s important to remember that a person is more than their debts. Financial strain and debt are incredibly common, and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. At the same time, though, it’s also quite common for debt to have a ripple effect on a person’s life, impacting them in ways that go far beyond their finances. 

Health and Well-Being

For instance? Recent reporting has suggested that there are notable links between financial trouble and mental health. In fact, one recent study suggests that “the likelihood of having a mental health issue is three times higher among those who are in debt,” according to a report from

Similarly, reporting from consumer information site The Simple Dollar suggests that individuals who struggle to pay off their debts and loans “are more than twice as likely to experience a host of mental health problems, including depression and severe anxiety,” according to one prominent study, which also suggests that 29% of people with high debt stress also report severe anxiety. A recent report from NBC News, citing data from the American Psychological Association (APA), also suggests that “financial stress is the top cause of stress for Americans.” 

Stress, anxiety, and depression can all go on to impact individuals in countless other ways. For instance, one study cited by Simple Dollar found that 64% of survey respondents said that “constant concern over debt interferes with their optimal functioning.” This can impact a person’s ability to be productive, and succeed at work or school. At the same time, poor mental health can lead to poor physical health, including chronic conditions like high blood pressure. Over time, the “one-two” punch of mental and physical conditions can cause people to require additional medical care – which, in some cases, can lead to increased medical debts, and deeper financial strain, beginning a complex and sometimes painful cycle. 

Relationships and Personal Life

Meanwhile, debt can have a dramatic impact on someone’s personal life and well-being. For one thing, financial troubles can put a strain on relationships. In a 2015 survey, for instance, more than a third of all respondents (35%) said that money was  the “primary cause of friction” in their relationship with a significant other. 

Beyond leading to arguments or tension, severe debt can impact a person’s willingness or ability to spend time with friends or family. Fear of debt collectors can lead to many people withdrawing from social life and obligations, and can make even answering the phone or checking the mail feel like an insurmountable obstacle. 

Where Can You Turn When You’re Facing Trouble With Debt?

If severe indebtedness is hampering your health, your well-being, and your relationships, bankruptcy may be a viable path forward, depending on your specific circumstances. 

Broadly speaking, bankruptcy is a way to either restructure or discharge your most pressing debts, in order to gain some important relief from creditors. With the support and breathing room provided by bankruptcy, many debtors are able to hit “restart” on their finances, empowering them to move forward on surer footing and, in time, begin to enjoy life again, free from the emotional, mental, and financial burden of debt. 

In many cases, bankruptcy is a way for debtors to gain a fresh financial start – and, in so doing, improve their quality of life in many other ways. But it’s also important to bear in mind that there are many key considerations to weigh before starting the bankruptcy process, including determining if you’re eligible for bankruptcy based on your unique situation – and, if so, what type. It’s also important to research some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding bankruptcy, so you can approach this process armed with up-to-date information and an open mind, and determine whether it’s the most sound solution for your needs, or if counseling or another alternative approach to debt relief may be more effective for your situation. 

Just as importantly, it’s key to build the right team. In many cases, finding an experienced local bankruptcy attorney is one of the most effective steps forward for anyone facing mounting debts and considering the possibility of pursuing bankruptcy. A knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can help you weigh all of the unique variables of your situation, ensuring that you don’t overlook anything or miss any key details. An attorney can then help you determine the right solution for your unique needs, including walking you through the complex and time-intensive bankruptcy process, while also providing counseling and guidance so you can protect your assets and, with the right strategy in place, avoid facing such serious debt issues in the future. 

About the Gunderson Law Firm

Have any more questions about bankruptcy or debt relief? Want to discuss the details of your personal situation with an experienced Chicagoland attorney? If you’re seeking answers or want to get a handle on your unique circumstances, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Gunderson Law Firm to begin the conversation. 

At the Gunderson Law Firm, our team of attorneys and staff are experienced and knowledgeable in the many elements that go into bankruptcy law for Illinois residents. 

Whether you are a business owner, a wage earner, retired, or otherwise, we can address your specific situation with strategic plans to help put severe indebtedness behind you so you can enjoy life again. We can take all steps possible to protect you and your assets immediately and throughout the bankruptcy process, while also counseling you on realistic ways to avoid such serious debt issues in the future.

Our professionals possess unparalleled expertise and insight, bolstered by years of experience and valuable connections with many of the top real estate and financial professionals in Chicagoland. Above all else, we are committed to providing the advocacy you need without the attitude you don’t. If you have found other lawyers to be more about their egos than about your case, talk to Gunderson Law Firm. Our attorneys are not only highly knowledgeable and experienced, but very down-to-earth. We’re all about great representation and timely results, tailored to your unique circumstances. Drop us a line whenever you’re ready to keep the conversation going.