Next Avenue: Is your debt making you ill? How you can restructure or rethink loans to help you sleep at night.

by | Apr 4, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from Debt has been linked to greater health risks for older adults, but not all debts affect your health, and the exact mechanism that causes health issues isn’t yet known. Still, studies show that some types of debt — specifically unsecured loans like credit-card balances — coincide with health issues, and others, typically mortgages, don’t.

Stacey Betts is a good example. Borrowing decisions she made years ago have, in one case, led to financial insecurity, worry and maybe even ill health while in another case her debt decisions have helped construct a safety net for the 66-year-old. Also see: Study: These foods raise your risk of dementia — a lotStudent loan quicksand Betts is still trying to pay off the loans she took out to finish college more than 20 years ago. At the time, student loan debt seemed like a ticket to a better life for her and her son. Now, it’s a source of anxiety that keeps her awake some nights. She wonders if the years of worry are somehow related to her 11 surgeries or a breast cancer battle she fought over the past decade. Research suggests the answer might be yes. Despite once using a windfall to pay a chunk of her student loan equal to her original principal, she still can’t get out from under payments and fears she never will. (President Biden’s student-debt forgiveness program approved her application to clear her loans, but it remains to be seen if the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives will pay for the program.) The debt that offers Betts peace of mind is a mortgage on the condominium she bought in 2016. She has a 3.125% interest rate and no plans to pay her mortgage off early. The payment fits easily into her budget, and her central Massachusetts home has appreciated handsomely. That loan helps her sleep at night. Also read: Democrats say Amer …

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