Like most states, Missouri has been shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Truth in Accounting, a nonpartisan think tank, Missouri stands to lose $5 billion in revenue as a direct result of the crisis.
Already, the state is saddled with a debt of $8.4 billion, which shakes out to about $4,300 per taxpayer. Add that to an average credit card balance of $5,601 per resident and Missourians may start to feel a bit bogged down by financial obligations.
Fortunately, InCharge Debt Solutions can walk you through a variety of creative solutions for getting out of the hole. Below, we will cover some of the most common and most effective methods for getting rid of debt.
Debt Relief Options for Missouri Residents
InCharge is a nonprofit counseling service offering debt relief for Missouri residents. InCharge’s debt management program allows you to consolidate your credit card debt at a reduced rate of interest. This can help by cutting down your monthly payments to affordable levels. There is no credit score requirement and no reason a poor credit score should block your access to debt relief. The same cannot be said for other methods of debt consolidation, like balance transfers and debt consolidation loans, which usually require applicants to have good-excellent credit to qualify.
Before enrolling in the program, you and a nonprofit counselor discuss your financial goals to determine if a debt management plan is a right solution. A DMP won’t work for everyone. Our counselors can walk you through some of the other debt-relief options available for Missouri residents. Those include:
Debt Consolidation Loan – A debt consolidation loan is a personal loan that consumers use to pay off debt. Usually, applicants need a high credit score to qualify for the low rates that make these loans valuable. For a debt consolidation loan to save you money, your new interest rate should be lower than the rate of the unsecured debt you wish to consolidate.
Debt Settlement – Through debt settlement, borrowers can settle their debts for less than they owe. Some debt settlement companies claim to reduce a borrower’s unsecured debt by up to 50%. This can be a good option for those in severe debt who would like to avoid bankruptcy. However, debt settlement can come with its fair set of cons, mainly, a high-percentage service fee that will eat into a chunk of your savings.
Bankruptcy – This is a legitimate option for those who have exhausted all other means of relief. Bankruptcy wipes the slate clean off your unsecured debts at the cost of tarnishing your credit report for the next 7-10 years. This will make it difficult to find credit or qualify for a loan for some time.
Missouri Debt Resources
Here are a few programs offering monetary, housing, nutritional, and employment assistance for residents of Missouri. Many of the requirements overlap i.e., low income, children under a certain age, which means qualifying for one program could put you in line for a few others. However, it’s always best to double-check eligibility requirements before applying.
- Share Food Bring Hope — This is a food bank providing assistance to Central and Northeast Missouri. Food is distributed to partner agencies and then given to those in need. For assistance, head to their website and click on your county for a list of partner agencies.
- Kansas City Project Hope – Homelessness Prevention Program — This program can help individuals and families find housing in the event of an impending foreclosure. For assistance, contact the United Way by dialing 211 or calling 816-474-5112
- The Missouri Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) — Funded by the USDA, it provides those over the age of 60 (meeting low-income requirements) with nutritious USDA commodity foods.
- Child Care Subsidy Program — This program can help cover the cost of childcare. To qualify, you must be the parent or guardian of a child under 13. You must also meet a reason for not being able to provide proper care. This can range from working, attending school, homelessness, among others.
- (TANF) US Department of Health and Human Services — Provides cash assistant for low-income families with children under 18. To qualify recipients must participate in the Missouri Work Assistance program (MWA) which provides employment training.
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program USDA Food and Nutrition Service: Provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income mothers of young children. Apply at your local agency here.
- Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – These programs offer low or no-cost health insurance for children living in Missouri.
- Low Income Home Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assistance – This consists of both the Energy Assistance/Regular Heating (EA) and Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP). EA can provide a one-time payment for your primary heating bills. ECIP can help cover your fuel bill if you’re in danger of losing your power.
- The Vaccines for Children program – Offers free vaccines for uninsured or underinsured children under 19.
Missouri Debt Statistics
Missouri has a median household income of $57,409, falling a bit short of the national average of $68,703. At 11.3%, the poverty rate is a tick above the national average of 10.5%. Some of Missouri’s main industries include manufacturing, real estate, healthcare, and social assistance.
Here are a few more statistics illustrating the state of Missouri’s economy:
- Residents of Missouri carry an average of $2,690 in credit card debt, 39th in the U.S.
- In Missouri, residents average $5,270 in student loan debt, coming in 27th
- Missouri has an unemployment rate of 5.8%, slightly lower than the national average of 6.7%.
- According to the Missouri Economics Research Center, Missouri ranks 6th in lowest cost of living.
- In 2019, Missouri’s private sector grew 2.3% and contributed $258.6 billion to Missouri’s Gross State Product (GSP).
- According to the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis, Missouri ranks 25th in overall GSP.
White, A. (2020, December 1) Alaskans carry the highest credit card balance – here’s the average credit card balance in every state. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/select/average-credit-card-balance-by-state/
N.A. (2020 September 17) 2019 Median Household Income in the United States. Retrieved from: https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/2019-median-household-income.html
Weinberg, S, Bergman, B. (2020 June 1) State general revenue shortfall projections. Retrieved from https://www.truthinaccounting.org/news/detail/state-general-revenue-shortfall-projections
N.A. (2020 September 22) Missouri Financial Breakdown. Retrieved from https://www.data-z.org/state_data_and_comparisons/detail/missouri
N.A. (2019) Missouri Gross State Product. Retrieved from https://meric.mo.gov/data/gross-domestic-product-data-series