Credit cards, over-due bills is linked with the increase in depressive symptoms, according to a study to be published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.
The research says that correlation is particularly strong among unmarried, and less educated people as well as the ones reaching the retirement age.
"New debt contracts could be offered to vulnerable borrowers and the population sectors we identified could be targeted with help in building their financial capacity," says Berger, the lead author Lawrence Berger from Wisconsin-Madison University.
"The findings could also be used to help mental health practitioners better understand the impact of clients' borrowing habits on depression."
About 80 percent of more than 8,500 adults had some kind of debt, most of them considered to be long-term, averaging $42 thousand. Those group of adults tend to be younger, more likely to be male, more highly educated, likely to be married, more affluent and were in better health.
However the association between debt and depression was strongest in the remaining ones with short-term debts, who are unmarried, nearing retirement age, and are less educated.