How to deal with debt stress and manage your debt

What is financial stress? 

Financial stress is a situation in which financial problems cause a person anxiety or worry. It can affect anyone at any time. 

Regardless of your financial situation, stressing about money is a universal phenomenon that almost every single person encounters at some point in their lifetime. 

What are the effects of financial stress? 

Financial stress can affect people’s physical and mental health. If you’re experiencing financial stress, you may also be suffering from some of the following effects that often accompany financial worries:

Weight gain or weight loss

Gaining or losing weight is a common side effect of stress. Regardless of the stressful situation an individual is in, their usual eating routine and the food they consume is often disrupted causing them to either gain weight or lose weight. 

As eating patterns are disrupted, appetites change and people either forget to eat completely or over eat in order to deal with their stress. This is often symptomatic of the fact that if an individual feels like they have lost control of a part of their life, they can take control of their eating habits. 


Unfortunately, money problems are often accompanied by mental health issues, one of the most common of which is depression. When a person is experiencing financial stress due to things such as debt, paying off loans or their insurance, they inevitably start to feel pressure. People often start to feel more upset and down in general but can also feel hopeless and struggle to make decisions or concentrate on things. 

Relationship problems 

Arguing about money is commonplace in a lot of marriages and relationships. When money problems come to the forefront of relationships, they cause financial stress between two people, and it is no longer a concentrated issue, but a shared burden. 

Although in many cases, a problem shared is a problem halved, the stakes are so high with money problems that this often only causes anger, resentment and relationship breakdowns. 

Social withdrawal

If you’re experiencing financial stress, there’s a risk that you will isolate yourself from your friends, family and loved ones. There are various reasons for this as some feel ashamed of their financial situation, and others simply feel like they should not spend money and therefore choose not to socialize. 

This often leads to mental health issues as you become enclosed within yourself and have no one to talk to about your feelings and anxieties. It also means you don’t have an outlet to occupy yourself with other things so you end up thinking about nothing else but your debt and stress. 

Tips to deal with debt and stress 

Don’t deny it 

The worst thing you can do when it comes to debt, paying off loans and money stress in general is to ignore your problem. No matter how much you ignore it, it’s not going to go away. It’s therefore integral that you accept the situation you’re in. Once you acknowledge your debt, you can begin thinking about different solutions to your problem. 

Moreover, accepting that you have debt and are experiencing financial problems will help you on a journey to accountability. From there, you will be able to explore the reasons why you got into debt into the first place and what you can do in the future to mitigate the chances of it happening again. 


Once you accept that you’re experiencing debt problems, you need to start working on how to deal with the problem as you do not want your credit rating to take a hit. Although applying for a loan can temporarily save your credit rating from plummeting completely, this is a short-term solution. 

One of the best and easiest ways to ensure you don’t overspend or go into debt again is through budgeting. All you have to do is make a list of your recurring monthly expenses, analyze your spending habits and make some lifestyle adjustments. Budgeting will help you visualize your financial situation and save money on a day-to-day basis

Positive mental attitude

Now, this is far easier said than done, but if you’re able to adopt a positive mental attitude, it will help you cope with debt and financial stress. If you pause and take a moment to think about the things and people that mean the most to you in your life, you will come to realize that most of them are worth more to you than money. 

Allow these things that are important to you to be your driving force. Think about that when you feel like you’re drifting into a place of negativity and hopefully it will allow you to gain perspective on your situation. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Occupy yourself 

Focusing on nothing but your debt all day every day will be extremely damaging to your mental health. It’s therefore recommended that you stay active and find hobbies to distract yourself. Occupying yourself does not mean completely ignoring your debts, but it does mean having something to think about other than just your debt. 

Physical activity is a great outlet and tool for stress relief as exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happier.

Consult a licensed insolvency trustee 

If you feel like your debt stress and financial problems are getting too much for you to handle on your own, that is completely fine. If you don’t feel comfortable seeking help or talking about your financial situation with your friends and family, you can get advice from a licensed insolvency trustee (LIT). 

A bankruptcy trustee takes care of analyzing your financial situation in depth in order to help you find the debt management solution that best fits your needs. They accompany you from A to Z during the debt relief process so that you don’t have to face your financial challenges on your own. 

Get a free and confidential consultation 

Debt management solutions 

Below are three of the most common debt management solutions that you might want to consider depending on the state of your financial situation. 

Consumer proposal 

A consumer proposal is a solution that can only be administered by a licensed insolvency trustee. It’s an agreement that you make with your creditors to pay a portion of your debt or 

extend the time to pay your debt. 

Personal bankruptcy 

Personal bankruptcy is a solution that is suited to those whose situation is unlikely to change and have little or no capacity to pay off their debt. The process of declaring bankruptcy can differ from person to person and depends on the amount of money you owe. 

It involves clearing all your debts by giving up your assets. Personal bankruptcy can be filed for by the individual or can be requested by a creditor. You often have to give up personal assets such as your house and belongings in order to clear your debt. 

Debt consolidation

Debt consolidation is the process of consolidating your debts in a single loan to simplify payment. If you can afford to make the new loan payments, this could possibly be the best option for you. 

Debt consolidation is used when you have multiple loans such as credit card loans and other personal loans as it creates a more streamlined approach to paying off your debts. 

Need help to eliminate your debt? 

If you need help eliminating your debt, it’s best that you seek help from a professional. Groupe Serpone can analyze your needs and financial situation to determine which debt management option best fits your personal circumstances. 

Get a free consultation