SINGAPORE (June 28): Cutting chronic debt can help reduce stress and help improve decision-making processes, according to a study.

Comparing the mental state of nearly 200 individuals, the study found that the percentage of people exhibiting generalised anxiety disorder fell from 78% to 53% after they received debt relief in a programme by the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS).

The negative effects of chronic debt on a person’s cognitive functioning are “large” — equivalent to one day of sleep deprivation. This results in slower reaction time and higher likelihood of making errors.

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