Florida Resident Debt Relief
Tight budgets often force consumers to rely on credit cards, and Florida is no exception. The average credit card debt is $5,754 in credit card debt. The default rate is 1.76%, which is up 7.6% in a year. That helps explain why Florida had 54,275 bankruptcy filings in 2015.
To address those problems, the state licenses nonprofit companies like InCharge, which provide credit counseling to Florida residents. It offers programs that help consumers eliminate their debt. That way they can relax enjoy the things that make Florida so popular.
There are three techniques for those in debt to climb out. Our credit counselors will go over your finances and recommend a solution that fits your situation.
A debt management plan (DMP) will combine your debts into one monthly payment with lower interest rates. This strategy doesn’t use a loan, so your credit score isn’t factored into eligibility. In addition, your creditors will continue to get paid, meaning the initial hit to your credit score will be negligible. Your score may actually improve as you make payments over time.
Debt Settlement is a more risky debt relief option. The idea is that you quit paying your creditors and instead build up a savings on your own – or with a debt settlement company. When your creditors assume all hope is lost in collecting their debt, the company negotiates a settlement.
The drawback is that while you are not paying those bills, the interest is continuing to pile on, meanwhile, your credit score is tanking. The added interest plus the attorney’s fees could negate any cost savings from the settlement. This option could work if your debt is already in collections and you have savings or access to money that would cover a large chunk of your debt. If you can’t settle the debt right away, another option will probably work better for you.
This is a do-it-yourself debt relief option. You’ll need to take out a personal loan from a bank, negotiating the interest down to below the current rate for your credit cards. Then, take the money from the new loan and pay off all your credit card balances. Your debt will be consolidated into one loan and one monthly payment. This technique works if you have really good credit that can get you a really good interest rate.
Now that it has air conditioning, there is no doubt that people love Florida. It attracts more than 100 million tourists a year and 800 people move there every day.
Florida became the No. 3 state on the U.S. population list in 2014 with 19.8 million people. It rocketed past New York, which had five times Florida’s population in 1950.
That’s about the time air conditioners started appearing en masse. It’s no coincidence that the first ice-making machines were invented a century earlier by a Floridian named John Gorrie. Once his early systems were fully engineered, the population rush was on.
People are lured by sunshine, beaches, no state income tax, Mickey Mouse and others things, all of which add up to an $830 billion economy. That puts Florida No. 4 in the state rankings, but all is not bright in the Sunshine State.
The tourism industry runs largely on low-paying jobs, as does the service industry that supports all those visitors. Florida’s per capita income of $26,582 ranks 32nd among U.S. states. Florida’s unemployment rate is a respectable 4.8%, but its labor force participation rate is 60.3%, meaning almost four out of 10 Floridians have dropped out of the work force.
Florida ranks 27th in average cost of living, according the Council for Community & Economic Research. Slightly more than 12% of the population lives below the poverty line, and the state’s minimum wage of $8.05 an hour is just above the federal minimum of $7.25.
The weather and low taxes are big draws for retirees, with 17.3% of the population over 65 years old. That ranks No. 1 in the U.S. But not all of those people have retired in comfort.
The Nest Egg Index is a complex formula that ranks the ability to build and nurture retirement assets. The U.S. average is 100.2. Florida’s average of 97.04 ranks 35th in the U.S.
On the other end of the age spectrum, the average student loan debt is $24,974. The median cost of a home is $185,000, which is only $5,000 above the national average. But according to Realtytrac.com, one in 734 Florida homes is foreclosed on, which ranks fourth-highest in the nation.
(Gillin, Joshua)(2016, Jan. 16). Rick Scott says we “completely turned around Florida’s economy.” Retrieved from http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2016/jan/12/rick-scott/rick-scott-says-he-completely-turned-around-florid/
(NA)(ND). Unemployment Rates for States. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm
(NA)(ND) Average Credit Card Debt in America: 2016 Facts & Figures. Retrieved from http://www.valuepenguin.com/average-credit-card-debt
(NA)(ND). Cost of Living Data Series First Quarter 2016. Retrieved from https://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/