435 Debt and Life Satisfaction

Research by Greenberg, Adam Eric, & Mogilner, Cassie(2020) 

Written by Robin N. Fatovic B.S.  

Research has found that debt impacts happiness and has life consequences. Do specific types of debt impact life satisfaction? 

Marketing researchers studying psychological factors examined the impact of debt on life satisfaction in seven different studies in the U.S. Results? Of the people who reported having mortgage, credit card, and studentloan debt, only those with studentloan debt expressed a decrease in life satisfaction. Also, people who owestudent loans were more likely to label this as a “debt” compared to people who owed mortgage and credit cardloans. Results showed that it was the label used to describe student loans which impacted the participants’emotional reaction to them. Those who did not mentally label the loans as “debt” expressed significantly betterlife satisfaction, even while still having student loans.

These results show that your perspective on debtcan have an emotional impact on how content you are in your life. Having a more positive view of the debt may improve life satisfaction. Consider the loan as an investmentin your future, career, and personal growth. Focus on the positive outcomes that came from attending higher education. Money may not buy happiness, but frame of mind does!

Reference: Greenberg, A. E., & Mogilner, C. (2020). Consumer debt and satisfaction in life. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. doi:10.1037/xap0000276

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