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The Social Cost of Financial Stress

January 10, 2019 | 0 min read


Financial stress can affect every part of a person’s life, causing a widespread negative impact on society. A recent survey from PWC highlights that dealing with personal finances is the single largest source of stress for employees in America.*

The stress of financial burden is so profound that it’s the leading cause of divorce. Findings from a recent Experian survey suggest that financial stress is a contributing factor in 59% of divorces nationwide. Ironically, there’s a reciprocal effect on divorce whereby it brings on even more insidious financial challenges for newly separated couples.

Unfortunately, the negative impact of financial stress doesn’t stop there. Research from PWC 2018 illustrates that due to financial woes, productivity and work performance drastically decrease, while absenteeism increases.

And it gets worse. Multiple surveys have suggested that financial stress exacerbates domestic violence. The research from Benson and Fox comparing couples with high and low levels of financial strain shows that there’s a 3x higher rate of domestic violence among those with high financial stress. What’s more, research from the CDC states that 20% of suicides (from both those with and without known mental health issues) record the primary factor as a financial reason.

No matter which way you splice it, financial stress seeps into every aspect of a person’s quality of life, and has widespread implications for the strength and health of our society as a whole. Fortunately, the tools now exist to help financial institutions step up their efforts to become true customer advocates.  


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