Debt
There is a strong link between debt and health, with people in problem debt more likely to have worse health

2x
the number of people not in problem debt likely to report having very good health compared to those who are in problem debt.
½
of working age people with poor health have no savings whatsoever, compared to one in three of those with good health.
58%
of those people in problem debt have either medium or high anxiety.

There is a strong link between debt and health, with people in problem debt more likely to have worse health. This link remains after adjusting for age and income, meaning it’s not just driven by people with problem debt having lower incomes, or by their age profiles 

The relationship between debt and health is two-way. Being unable to make debt repayments – problem debt – can harm people’s physical and mental health by acting as a source of stress and reducing opportunities for good health. Poor health can be a trigger for problem debt, through employment loss or low income.  

These charts explore that relationship, as well as the impact of government action to ease financial pressures during the pandemic. 

Relationship between debt and health

Analysis

Relationship between self-rated health and problem debt

Analysis

Being in problem debt is associated with worse self-rated health.

Analysis

Relationship between self-reported anxiety level and problem debt

Analysis

Being in problem debt is associated with worse mental health.

Analysis

Savings and income by health

Analysis

Half of all working age people with poor health have no savings whatsoever.

Analysis

Persistence of debt problems by health

Analysis

People in poor health are more likely to be in persistent debt.

Trends and inequalities in debt

Analysis

Household problem debt and debt burden by income decile

Analysis

People living in lower income households are more likely to experience problem debt or to feel that...

Analysis

Working age adults behind with bills by income quintile

Analysis

The proportion of adults behind with bills rose during the pandemic, before returning to...

Analysis

Debt burden and inflation time series

Analysis

Inflation pressures could lead to an increase in perceived debt burden in 2022.

Further reading

Long read

Debt and health

20 January 2022

About 17 mins to read

Long read

Government action in 2020/21 eased financial pressures for many. But with those on low incomes and...

Explore other subtopics within Money and resources
Poverty
This relates to how poverty, and the time a person lives in poverty, affects health
Income
This relates to the ways in which income affects health

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