Americans are increasingly relying on credit cards, one of the most expensive ways to borrow money. In 2017, outstanding credit card debt hit $1 trillion—the highest mark ever. The average American has about three credit cards and a total balance of $6,375—a three percent increase since last year.
While higher debt obviously puts a damper on personal finances, there’s one other downside you should know: Bad health.
According to a recent NerdWallet survey, 86 percent of Americans who have or had credit card debt say they regret it. The main regret is the length of time it took to pay off debt, which resulted in high interest expenses and unnecessary stress.
Nearly 40 percent of consumers claim credit card debt affected their general happiness, while one-third said it worsened their standard of living.
According to a 2013 study by researchers from McGill and Northwestern universities, high-debt people aged 24 to 32 were more likely to have high blood pressure and self-reported physical and mental health difficulties than their counterparts who had lower levels of debt. Other studies have found increased financial stress is associated with a rise in physical and mental stress, in addition to worse psychological health.
Don’t let that be you. Before spending on items you don’t really need, pay off your credit card debt once and for all. You’ll feel better because of it.