Collaborative Post

With many people struggling to maintain their repayments, especially as wage rises are no longer keeping up with inflation.

Even people in work are finding it hard to maintain their financial commitments and are walking a tightrope each month. It only takes one or two adverse events, like a failed MOT or broken washing machine, to plunge a household into arrears. If you're an employer, you have a duty to watch out for signs of financial distress among your staff and to help them to find solutions, maybe by signposting them to Creditfix.

Here are some of the more common signs that an employee is in financial trouble.

Denying that there's a problem

While this seems contradictory, denial isn't unusual, because many people are ashamed to be in debt and will go to great lengths to cover the fact up. However, eventually something will happen to bring the situation to light - a rejected card at lunchtime or strange phonecalls that must be taken outside - so keep an eye out.

Unexplained tiredness and exhaustion

Most people who have serious debt problems also suffer from sleep problems - they can't get to sleep or they're waking up too early. Over time, this leads to sleep deprivation which, as we all know, leads to mistakes at work. It can also cause people to become snappy and irritable, so getting help is important for everyone involved.

Changes in eating habits

These changes could be suddenly not eating much at all or eating too much junk food as a source of comfort. This, in turn, can lead to weight loss, a lowered immune system and headaches. Feeling unwell a lot means days off, which costs your company money.

Out-of-character anxiety

Being pursued by debt collectors and creditors can make people feel paranoid and permanently on guard. The person may startle or look anxious when they get a call or text message, or seem overly concerned when any in-office mail is distributed.

Unusual or unexplained anger

Being in debt is a frustrating, hopeless feeling and this can all too often turn into anger. People can feel angry with themselves for getting into the situation, or they may rail at the economy, their colleagues and families and even at you. If someone is displaying odd moods and outbursts that can't be explained by the "usual" stressful life events like moving or divorce, then debt might be the reason.

Depression and low moods

Debt problems can, unsurprisingly, lead to mental health problems, mainly depression. Very often, people will feel better when the debt is paid or when they're finally getting the help and advice they need. The longer the situation goes on without any action, though, the more likely it is to cause long-term problems with depression. Anxiety and depression are responsible for 11.7 million lost working days in the UK each year, so it's important to look out for your people.