Life on Debt Row

RSPH has published a report examining the effect of debt on health and wellbeing

The report includes a league table of credit types according to their impact on people’s mental health. Credit unions proved to have the least serious impact on mental wellbeing, while payday loans and unauthorised overdrafts proved to have the worst effect on mental wellbeing

What we're calling for

RSPH is calling for action from the Government and the industry itself to protect the health and wellbeing of credit users, including:

  • An end to targeted marketing of high interest loans to vulnerable individuals
  • Health warnings on the marketing and credit agreements of the most unhealthy forms of credit, highlighting the potential negative consequences of problem debt
  • Lenders to train all employees in carrying out mental health assessments before providing credit
  • Better signposting to debt and mental health services by lenders, health services, local authorities and universities



Life on Debt Row report launch

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Life on Debt Row report launch

From left: Peter West (Campaigner), Philip Woodward (Chair of RSPH), Michael Sheen (Founder of the End High Cost Credit Alliance), Professor Sian Griffiths OBE (RSPH board member), Carolyn Harris MP, Shirley Cramer CBE (CEO of RSPH)

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Lucy Heard

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Mental Health UK

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Sharon Hodgson MP

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Faith Action

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The Young Foundation

49% of credit users who drink alcohol

drank more as a result

of stress associated with their debts

sleep quality declined

76% for credit users as a result of the stress of being in debt

65% of credit users

spent more time alone

because their debt made them feel to depressed or distressed to spend time with others

Key facts

Life on debt row  league table


Life on debt row


Life on debt row


Life on debt row


Life on debt row


Life on debt row