How debt can affect your everyday life

At Lowell, we understand that dealing with debt can be difficult. We work with customers every day to find a solution that works for them – so we know how much of an impact it can have on your day-to-day life.

We’re on a mission to help our customers and start a wider conversation about destigmatising debt in society, so that people don’t feel embarrassed or awkward when it comes to talking about debt. If we’re more open when we talk about money and debt, it makes it easier for people to access financial help without jargon or fear.

As part of that, we wanted to speak to people to find out how financial difficulties and debt affect their day-to-day life.

Catch-22: Financial difficulties make it harder to save

We surveyed Brits to see how they had been impacted by financial difficulties. Of the people who had been impacted by financial difficulties, the biggest segment was 27% of people, who’d experienced struggling to save money.

Knowing where to start with saving money can be tough, especially when it feels like there’s not enough to cover everything. It can feel like a catch-22 situation at times, but that’s why tools like our free budget calculator really help. Enter your incomings and fixed outgoings, and the calculator makes it simple and easy to see how much you have left.

It can be hard to save while you’re paying off your debts. But, once you know much you can afford to put towards clearing your debts you can start planning for the future, including building up your savings.

Once you’re used to knowing how much you have coming in and going out towards your payment plan, you can work out if you can realistically start building up your savings. Remember, even if it’s only a small amount each month, you’re still taking charge, starting you on the path to feeling more financially stable.

22% of people said that financial difficulties had an impact on their mental health, and that they'd struggled with severe stress, anxiety or depression as a result of their money struggles

Debt and mental health

The second-largest group of people that we surveyed – 22% of people - said that financial difficulties had an impact on their mental health, and that they’d struggled with severe stress, anxiety, or depression as a result of their money struggles. If you’re feeling like this, then it’s important to know that there is support available. There are free, independent support services that you can turn to.

If you’re a Lowell customer who’s going through a tough time because of debt or your finances, please get in touch. We want what’s best for you – we’re here to help, and not here to put additional pressure on you if you’re going through a tough time.

We have different ways of working with you – so if your circumstances have changed, get in touch. We may be able to pause your payment plan and give you some breathing room, and help you get in touch with debt charities like StepChange who can help to manage your debt on your behalf.

Research that we’ve done here at Lowell[1] has found a link between taking the step to start dealing your debts and an improved sense of mental health, both short and long term. We’ll always treat you with dignity, understand your circumstances, and work with you – not against you.

Financial issues cause sleep problems

Alongside this, 21% of the people we surveyed had suffered sleep problems, having lost sleep due to stress. Getting enough sleep is important for our bodies to heal and function, but it can be tough if you’re tossing and turning because you’re worrying about money. On the other hand, 13% of the people we surveyed were having the opposite issue – their sleeping patterns were disturbed because they were sleeping more to avoid dealing with problems and worries.

If your debt is with Lowell and you’re having sleepless nights, staying in bed because you’re worried about someone calling you to discuss money, then speaking to Lowell can help. Speaking to our friendly team can really help you to start feeling better, because we make sure you’re in control. With Lowell, you choose how much you pay, how often, and when it’s easiest for you to pay.

Finance affects your relationships

Some of the other financial hardships that people have faced include issues with their personal relationships. 11% of the people we spoke to reported issues with their partners, 10% with their family, 9% with their friends, and 6% with their colleagues. This really shows how hard it can be to speak to the people around you about your finances – but our guide on how to talk to someone about debt might be helpful.

At Lowell, we know that dealing with financial difficulties can be hard. We always put our customers first, with resources like our debt information hub and access to our help and support. For more research into the impact of debt and finances, check out the rest of the Lowell blog.


Published by Libby Davies, 10th May 2022

  • [1] Walnut Report: ‘Understanding the impact of managing debt on psychological and physical health’, 26th August 2021.

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