Simply avoiding going the hole is hard enough. The average credit-card debt in Texas is $5,960, and the average student load debt is $26,250.
Texans who need assistance can receive free credit counseling at InCharge as well as access nonprofit debt consolidation. As they like to say in the Lone Star State, size matters.
Most consumers don’t need a Texas-sized miracle to ease their financial problems. What they need is some good advice.
Texas prides itself on doing everything in a big way. That cuts both ways for consumers in the state.
While the rest of the nation stumbled through the recession over the past decade, Texans were largely insulated by the boom in the oil and gas industry. As that boom has slowed, so has the state’s economy.
The unemployment rate ticked above the national average in December of 2015, breaking a 108-month streak. At 4.7%, unemployment was still relatively low. But it showed how the “Texas Miracle” isn’t quite what it used to be.
From 2007-2015, Texas created 36% of all civilian jobs added nationwide, even though it has less than 10% of the population. Three of the nation’s five fastest-growing cities (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio) are in Texas.
The state’s selling points are low overall taxes, no state income tax, restrained government spending and predictable regulations. It has a $1.64 trillion economy, which would be the world’s 10th largest if Texas were a country.
The state has diversified its economy, but it’s lifeblood is still oil and gas. The revolution in shale production powered Texas through America’s recent lean years. So changing market conditions and lower worldwide oil prices have had an outsized effect on the state.
The state’s GDP slowed to 1.4% in 2015. Midway through 2016, only 12% of businesses were adding jobs while 22% reported net layoffs. That impact has been felt in middle and lower-class income brackets.
Approximately 16.6% of Texans live below the national poverty level, which is the fourth-highest in America. Texas leads the nation in residents who don’t have high-school diplomas (17.8%) and don’t have health insurance (19.1%).
Its minimum wage is the federal standard of $7.25 an hour. The financial challenges are eased somewhat by having 12th-lowest cost of living in the U.S., according to the Council for Community & Economic Research.