It pays to always settle your accounts, as being in debt isn’t only hard on your pocket, but also on your mental health.

In a recent study featured on Science Daily , researchers from the University of Southampton and Kingston University analyzed data on approximately 34,000 participants and found that a quarter of the participants who had unsettled accounts had mental issues, compared with only9 percent of those who had clean balance sheets. Individuals who were in debt were more than three times more likely to have mental health problem; they also had an increased risk of suffering from depression, drug dependence, and psychosis.

"This research shows a strong relationship between debt and mental health; however it is hard to say which causes which at this stage. It might be that debt leads to worse mental health due to the stress it causes. It may also be that those with mental health problems are more prone to debt because of other factors, such as erratic employment. Equally it might be that the relationship works both ways. For example people who are depressed may struggle to cope financially and get into debt, which then sends them deeper into depression,” lead researcher Dr. Thomas Richardson explains.

The best way to avoid being in debt is to live within your means. Always pay your bills on time and work within your budget, and if it comes to the point that you have no choice but to go overboard, look for ways to make paying easier, such as zero to no installment schemes. Having no debt means having less to worry about and being a happier and healthier you.

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(Photo by Katie Landry via Flickr Creative Commons)

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