New York Resident Debt Relief
InCharge provides free credit counseling, debt management and bill consolidation programs to New York residents. InCharge Debt Solutions is licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
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New York Credit & Debt Consolidation Information
New York suffered some of the biggest hits to its economy at the outset of the pandemic in March of 2020, so it’s only fitting now that The Empire State is enjoying some of the largest economic growth heading into 2022.
New York has seen a 3.6% job growth in 2021 and those numbers are expected to jump another 6.5% in 2022. By the fourth quarter of 2022, New York is expected to finally be all the way back from the plummet that the state’s job market took during the pandemic. More specifically, New York City has already seen a 3.9% growth in the job market in 2021 and that number will improve an encouraging 8% in 2022.
Despite those positive trends in the job market, there are clearly still millions of people in the state who are struggling with financial problems. Because of the losses in jobs, rampant inflation and massive cost-of-living increases, New Yorkers have unfortunately seen debt totals rise in many areas.
On average, New Yorkers owe $5,414 on their credit cards — the 14th-most in the nation. Their mortgage debt of $240,795 also ranks as the 10th-largest amount in the country. And with 54 percent of college graduates in New York still saddled with student loan debts, the state-wide credit score has dropped to 706.
Clearly, New Yorkers are battling their way back after some unthinkably difficult times. But given the more pronounced hit that the state took during the pandemic it clearly has much more catching up to do to truly return to life as normal.
For New Yorkers who are still struggling financially the good news is that there is plenty of help available to help them stabilize and hopefully position themselves for a more prosperous 2022.
Debt Relief Options for New York residents
One top option for New Yorkers experiencing financial problems is InCharge Debt Solutions’ debt management program. InCharge’s certified credit counselors are available to help customers consolidate their credit card debt, lower interest rates and create manageable payment plans.
InCharge can help customers wipe out their credit card debt in approximately 3-to-5 years. Clients must abide by a strict spending budget and make sure to pay their payments on time every month to eliminate that troublesome credit card debt.
On average, customers were forced to pay 16.5% interest on their credit card debt in 2021.Consumers who failed to pay their debts on a monthly basis likely saw those interest charges jump to 25%, and occasionally as high as 30%.
InCharge will work closely with the credit card companies to slash those interest rates to approximately 8% and get to a monthly payment plan that consumers can comfortably afford.
InCharge coordinates the monthly payments and gives them to creditors in amounts that have been previously agreed upon.
To enroll in this easy-to-manage plan, InCharge consumers will only need to go online to sign up or they can contact an InCharge counselor over the phone.
There is one other major factor to consider before beginning a debt-consolidation plan: Credit score will not negatively impact your efforts to begin a plan. Clients whose credit scores have fallen can still qualify for debt management plans.
Debt management programs are the simplest and most effective ways to take care of debt, but there are other options for New York residents struggling financially to consider:
- Debt Settlement – If you are concerned about soaring credit card debt, personal loans, and medical bills, debt settlement is a great option to consider. This plan allows debtors to pay less than the amount(s) owed. However, creditors must be OK with accepting a lump-sum payment that settles the debt. While this debt-relief option might alleviate some of your financial problems in the short term, the negatives — both short-term and long-term ones — are still major factors. Creditors will likely still come after you with their efforts to collect fund That debt settlement will result in a negative hit on your credit report and it will remain there for at least seven years. It can do serious damage to your credit score and negatively affect your hopes of landing future credit opportunities for major purchases like a home or car. Also, the IRS will consider forgiven debt of more than $600 as regular income when tax-filing season rolls around.
- Debt Consolidation Loan – Consumers with solid credit scores should easily qualify for a debt-consolidation loan. Consumers can use that loan money to pay off their credit cards bills. Then, they will start monthly payments to the company that arranged the loan for them. That interest rate should be significantly lower than the high one charged by credit card companies, which should equate to big savings. One negative, however, is that you will still have to pay back the loan, and consumers who aren’t on top of their finances will be at risk of accruing major debt again if they don’t stop using those credit cards altogether.
- Nonprofit Debt Settlement – This program is offered by a specialized group of nonprofit credit counseling agencies, including InCharge Debt Solutions. Selecting this plan allows consumers to pay only 40% to 50% of the amount owed. The difference between this option and a traditional debt settlement is that no negotiating at all is needed. Creditors agree in advance to lower the amount owed in order to recoup some of the money. This option allows consumers to get rid of their debt in 36 months.
- Bankruptcy – Praised by some as “a fresh start,” bankruptcy allows consumers to eliminate credit card debt. However, it should only be considered as a final option. While bankruptcy does deliver some short-term relief, the long-term effects of this option can last for years. Bankruptcy dings the filer’s credit report for seven to 10 years. That will result in major problems in trying to qualify for a loan for purchases such as a new vehicle or a home before the year 2030. Prior to choosing the bankruptcy option, you must ponder the future damage that choosing this option could have on your credit for years to come.
New York Debt Resources
New York residents going through times as result of being secure gainful employment, affordable housing or mounting bills might qualify for financial assistance through a variety of federal and/or state programs. Here are some of the services that New Yorkers might qualify for:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: SNAP issues electronic benefits that can be used to purchase various food items for those in need. The plan is in place to help low-income working residents, seniors and the disabled so that they can support their families. Eligibility will be determined by household size, income and other determining factors.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: The TANF program is designed to provide temporary assistance for needy men, women and children throughout New York. If you are unable to work, can’t find a job or you aren’t making enough money for food, shelter and essentials, the Temporary Assistance plan might be able to help. The two major plans that provide assistance are Family Assistance and Safety Net Assistance. In the Family Assistance plan, eligible adults can receive benefits for 60 months in their lifetime. The months need not be consecutive. In the Safety Net Assistance plan, it is in place for single adults, childless couples, children living apart from relatives, persons addicted to drugs or alcohol and aliens who aren’t eligible for federal reimbursement.
- Home Energy Assistance Program: HEAP has been put in place to help low-income residents pay to the cost of heating their homes during New York’s winter months. If eligible, you may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year if you are in danger of running out of fuel or having your utility services cut off. HEAP may be able to heat your home with electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, propane, wood, kerosene or corn.
- Emergency Rental Assistance Program: Under ERAP, new applications are only being accepted in the area where the ERAP funding hasn’t been exhausted and in parts of the state with income higher than 80% and up to 120% of the area median income. Keep in mind that New York has an eviction moratorium preventing landlords from evicting tenants who submit hardship declarations until Jan. 15, 2022.
- Child Support Services: The Child Support Program provides custodial parents with help in obtaining support and insurance coverage for their children by locating parents, establishing parentage, establishing support orders and distributing child-support payments. The New York State Child Support Program also is committed to helping survivors of family violence access child-support services safely. If you will be attending a court hearing soon, check out court information for advice about how you can prepare in advance for ways to attain child-support to properly raise your children in a safe environment.
- Fair Hearings: The Fair Hearing program allows you to tell an Administrative Law Judge from the New York State Office why you think a ruling about your case was wrong. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will issue a written decision which will state whether a local agency’s decision was correct or incorrect. That written decision could allow a local agency to properly correct your case.
- Employment and Training Services: The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance oversees employment programs offered through your local department of social services. Employment and Training Services are provided for applicants to support participation in work activities that have been approved and assigned by the local social services department. Some of the services provided are child care assistance for children up to 13 years old, transportation assistance, adult basic education, vocational education and job search assistance.
- Social Security Disability Benefits: There are two Federal disability programs — Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. The SSDI is a Federal disability income program for adults who have worked and are now unable to work because of a disability. The SSI is a program for adults and children who are disable and have limited income and resources. It is designed to primarily help blind, aged and others with disabilities and provide food, clothing and shelter.
New York Debt Statistics
Here are some of the debt issues that New Yorkers have struggled with throughout 2021. Their hope, of course, is that they can eliminate as much debt as possible and better days are ahead financially in 2022.
- Auto loan debt: Maybe it’s because of the reliance on public transportation in New York City, but New Yorkers have done a great job of limiting their auto-loan debt. New Yorkers rank sixth in the nation in the least amount of auto debt in 2020 at just $16,483 on average. That was just a 2% jump over the 2019 average amount of auto debt — a hike that was tied for second smallest in the nation.
- Credit card debt: New Yorkers haven’t been shy about putting charges on their credit cards. On average, New Yorkers have $5,414 in credit card debt — the 14th largest amount in the U.S. Fortunately for New Yorkers, their average debt is less than the national average of $6,194 credit card debt in 2021.
- Mortgage Debt: Mortgage debt climbed 1.3% in 2020 in New York to $240,795. The $240,795 average owed by New Yorkers ranks as the 10th highest in the nation, including numbers from District of Columbia homeowners.
- Student Loan debt: New York, one of the nation’s most populous states, ranks fourth in terms of the most collective student loan debt at $89.2 billion. On average, New Yorkers with student loans owe approximately $37,800, which ranks seventh in the nation. Approximately 54% of New York graduates are still carrying student loan debt.
- Household debt: New Yorkers owe an average of $48,700 in total household debt, excluding their home mortgages. That total ranks as the seventh-lowest amount of household debt in the nation. Additionally, New Yorkers are spending just 77% of what they bring home on a yearly basis. To put that into perspective, residents in 25 states spent at least 91% of their annual income last year.
- Bankruptcy and foreclosures: As of May of 2021, New Yorkers were hit with 6,730 bankruptcies — the eighth-most in the nation. Approximately 87% of New York bankruptcies have been Chapter 7 with individuals looking to rid themselves of unsecured debts (ones not backed by collateral). As for foreclosures, New York ranks 22nd in the country with just 885 foreclosures of its 8.3 million homes. In the nation’s fourth-most populous state, that translated to 1 foreclosure in every 9,404 households.
- Credit scores: Financial difficulties brought on by tough economic times have damaged credit scores for many New York residents. On average, New Yorkers have a credit score of 706 — the 16th best score in the nation.
- Identity theft: Fittingly, one of the nation’s most-populated states had the fifth-largest number of incidents of identity theft (67,202). Of every 100,000 people in New York, approximately 345 of them fell victim to identity theft.
About The Author
In his 40-plus-year newspaper career, George Morris has written about just about everything -- Super Bowls, evangelists, World War II veterans and ordinary people with extraordinary tales. His work has received multiple honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press and the Louisiana Press Association. He avoids debt when he can and pays it off quickly when he can't, and he's only too happy to suggest how you might do the same.
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