Older adults with a significant amount of unsecured debt are far more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression, according to researchers at Rutgers University. Unsecured debt is a loan not backed by an asset -- for example, unpaid credit-card debt, regular monthly bills that have piled up from service providers, such as the electric or gas company, or unpaid medical bills. It differs from secured debt, which is backed by something tangible -- for example, a mortgage or car loan.
Researchers said about 30 percent of adults 51 and older have unsecured debt. The more debt they had in relation to their incomes, the more likely they were to show signs of depression. A recent, separate study found that adults 50 and older with unpaid credit-card debt were carrying an average balance of about $8,300.
For debt reduction tips from the National Council on Aging, go to nwsdy.li/ncoa-debt.