How Your Credit Score Affects Your Health

by Stacy Tharp 5. September 2012

Having a good credit score is important. We all know that. We’ve all seen the commercials, been told who checks our scores and why, and heard horror stories about what can happen when you have a bad credit history. (But if you’d like a refresher on credit scores, read Credit Scores: GPAs for Adults.) But what if I told you that having poor credit can have adverse effects on not just your financial life, but also on your health?

Before I begin to explain my reasoning behind this claim, it is important to note that I am not a doctor, nor do I have a medical degree, nor have I ever considered attempting a medical degree. That was a career path that I was able to quickly rule out after nearly passing out in high school Biology class while attempting to dissect the organs of farm animals…but that’s a story for another day. (Stay tuned!) I DO, however, have the ability to perform some skillful research! So with that, I’d like to share some of my findings.

Stress

Calls from creditors or collection agencies, realizing that you are spending more money than you’re making, waking up each morning in fear that this will be the day that your water or electricity will be turned off, an unexpected and costly emergency for which you are financially unprepared. These are all examples of situations that could easily leave you in a perpetual state of stress. According to Psych Central, long-term stress can cause high blood pressure, susceptibility to infection, slow recovery from illnesses and possibly even diabetes.

Health Insurance

Since many employers check their potential employees’ credit scores, having a low credit score can make it difficult for you to find a job. If you can’t get a job because of your credit score, besides having something to add to the list of things that can cause you stress, you won’t be able to take advantage of low health insurance rates that companies often provide for their employees. You may be forced to purchase insurance with high premiums, high deductibles, and/or limited coverage. Having sub-par health insurance might lead you to try to avoid visits to the doctor’s office, which of course could lead to the possibility of medical issues not being properly addressed.

Emotional Health

According to Daily Finance, overspending can be connected to such emotional states as avoidance, depression and low self-esteem. Overspending can in turn lead to a low credit score due to high credit card balances. These emotional states are most likely a cause, rather than an effect, of overspending. According to Advantage Credit Counseling Service, having a positive mental outlook is essential for effective debt management.

If you have experienced any of the symptoms or behaviors I have mentioned, it is essential that you talk to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

If you have difficulty managing your debt, here are a few things you can try:

Be sure to teach your children at a young age how to be financially responsible, and maintain that good credit score yourself, if not for financial reasons, then for your health!

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

True or False? Five Myths About Credit Scores Unveiled

Four Things the Easter Bunny Taught Me About My Credit

How I Graduated Debt-free from College



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