Those Struggling With Debt reveal Tell Tale Signs

by : Abbi Rouse

Problems in managing money can often contribute towards many people performing poorly in the workplace, it has been suggested.

According to Tony Urwin, occupational psychologist and general manager of BUPA Psychological Services and BUPA Wellness, more consumers could develop difficulties in meeting numerous demands for payment on areas such as utility bills, personal loans and credit cards. Such fiscal problems could be increased even further as the country's consumer debt level "escalates" and the "costly" festive period is just a few weeks away. In addition, the recent decision by the Bank of England to keep the base rate at 5.75 per cent means that borrowing costs on personal loans and other types of credit remain at their highest level for six years. As a result, employees were urged to be aware of the various symptoms that having financial problems can result in.

And with such monetary difficulties potentially causing staff to take days off due to stress, underperform while in the workplace and in some instances turn to criminal behaviour in an attempt to pay off creditors, the psychologist called on employers to do more to help their workforce manage their finances.

Mr Urwin said: "A person whose financial future is uncertain is highly likely to feel pressurised and unable to cope. Their behaviour is, therefore, likely to be similar to that of someone suffering from extreme stress. The visible work-based symptoms of stress can include short temperedness, an inability to plan and control work, poor relationships with colleagues or clients and loss of motivation.

"Other very simple tell-tale signs may be the start of frequent private phone calls - as someone burdened by debt may start receiving regular calls from their bank, credit card company or other organisations chasing payment."

He also pointed to research revealing that conversations about independent monetary advice and financial issues account for three and two per cent respectively of all calls received by employees via assistance programmes managed by BUPA. Meanwhile, debt matters, whether about credit cards or secured loans, make up two per cent of discussions. Mr Urwin pointed out that, overall, money-related problems comprise more calls to BUPA helplines than substance abuse or trauma.

The psychologist added that the provision of independent financial advice can help consumers learn to budget their spending effectively and how to apply for debt consolidation loans so as to get back on their financial feet. In addition, Mr Urwin stated that such guidance could see people become more aware about the implication of filing for insolvency and how being in debt can have an impact upon credit ratings.

Earlier this year, Axa reported that by using the 50 minutes of their working day they spend in social networking websites and making personal phone calls to instead organise their finances, many of Britain's office-based workers could be in a better monetary position in which to pay off bills, loans and credit cards. Spokesperson Pat Brady claimed: "A lack of motivation to deal with financial matters is arguably at the heart of our country's enormous personal debt problem." Meanwhile, after getting a clear idea of their money situation those who find that expenditure significantly outweighs income may wish to consider taking out a debt consolidation loan.