Debt woes lead to sleepless nights, research shows

Some 40 per cent of people who responded to a survey about debt said they were losing sleep over their finances. 

The research, conducted by p…

Some 40 per cent of people who responded to a survey about debt said they were losing sleep over their finances. 

The research, conducted by peer-to-peer lending service Zopa, suggests money worries are having a negative impact on peoples' mental and physical wellbeing. 

Respondents whose sleep patterns were affected by debt concerns admitted to losing an average of 2.1 hours of shut eye per night. 

Some 44 per cent of the 1,000 adults questioned said their family life was affected by their concerns over money, and 20 per cent were worried their loved ones would no longer respect them if they had debt issues. 

Giles Andrews, chief executive of Zopa, said: "I'd encourage people worried about their [finances] to seek advice immediately … and then look at low-cost options to help them reduce their debts." 

Nearly one-quarter of those surveyed (22 per cent) said the rising cost of food and household items were to blame for their debt, despite recent reports that supermarket price wars and zero inflation are bringing bills down. 

An area that people should consider eliminating immediately is spending on non-essential items, as 27 per cent admitted this was to blame for their recent overspend. 

Some 21 per cent said their financial woes were caused by unforeseen costs relating to car maintenance. This highlights the importance of budgeting. By taking into account MOT, insurance and maintenance and repair costs in an annual budget, households may be able to avoid being caught short by such costs. 

The vast majority of those questioned (63 per cent) said their largest source of debt was on credit cards, while ten per cent said they were struggling to pay off an overdraft. 

Some 19 per cent of respondents said they had managed to accrue between £4,000 and £6,000 of debt before they sought help for their financial woes. 

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