Texas Resident Debt Relief
InCharge assists Texans experiencing problems paying their bills or struggling financially with free, nonprofit debt management programs and credit counseling. If you need assistance in eliminating credit card bills, InCharge is here to help.
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Texas Credit & Debt Consolidation Information
Everything, as the saying goes, is bigger in Texas and that includes the amount of debt Texans roll up every year.
Texans owe the second-most in the nation on their auto loans, the seventh-most on their credit cards and their average expenditures are at 100% of their yearly earnings.
In a nutshell, that means the average Texan spends every dime he or she makes. However, better days could be right around the corner.
According to the Federal Reserve of Dallas, Texas payrolls increased a promising 8.8% in September of 2021. In the third quarter of 2021, jobs in Texas expanded by 6.9% — an amount of growth that well ahead of the national average (5.3%) for the same period.
Economists are hopeful that manufacturing productions will carry over into 2022. The headline production index — a key measure of manufacturing conditions in Texas — came in at 18.3, which was an improvement over the 24.2 reading in the previous month. The indexes notate the difference between the percentage of respondents reporting a decrease in work conditions compared to those reporting an improvement in work conditions.
The steady job numbers and improving economic indicators could lead to booming times in Texas. Those, of course, are very much needed to help Texans dig out of the sometimes staggering amounts of debt that they piled up.
With their financial troubles hopefully behind them for good, Texans are once again dreaming big. Remember, everything is bigger in Texas — even the hopes for a brighter financial future.
Debt Relief Options for Texas residents
One top option for Texans having problems paying off credit card bills is InCharge Debt Solutions’ debt management program. InCharge’s certified credit counselors can assist customers in consolidating credit card debt, lowering interest rates and creating affordable payment plans.
InCharge has a reliable structure in place to help customers eliminate credit card debt in 3-to-5 years. Clients must stick to a detailed spending budget and make on-time payments every month to wipe out their credit card debt.
Consumers, on average, paid 16.5% interest on credit card debt in 2021.Consumers who don’t pay off their debt each month could see the interest charges soar to 25%, sometimes as much as 30%.
InCharge works hand-in-hand with credit card companies to reduce those interest rates to approximately 8% and arrive at a monthly payment consumers can afford.
InCharge will collect the monthly payments and distribute them to creditors in amounts that have been previously agreed upon.
To sign up for this easy-to-execute plan, InCharge consumers can either go online or contact InCharge over the phone.
Also, there’s another important factor to consider about your debt-management plan: Your credit score will not be a hindrance in starting the plan. Clients who have allowed their credit scores to plunge, can still qualify for debt management plans.
Debt management programs are the easiest and cleanest way to take care of debt, but there are other avenues for struggling Texans to consider:
- Debt Settlement – If you are overwhelmed with onerous credit card debt, personal loans, and medical bills, debt settlement is an option. It allows debtors to pay less than the amount(s) owed to settle their debt. However, card companies must agree to a lump-sum payment amount that settles the debt. While this debt-relief option will help solve some financial issues in the short term, the downsides — immediate and long-term — abound. Creditors will continue collection efforts. The debt settlement is a negative that goes on the consumer’s credit report and stays for seven years. It can damage your credit score and adversely affect access to future credit opportunities like home and car loans. Plus, the IRS counts forgiven debt over $600 as regular income for tax-filing purposes.
- Nonprofit Debt Settlement – This program is offered by a select group of nonprofit credit counseling agencies, including InCharge Debt Solutions. It also allows consumers to pay only 50%-%60 of what they owe. The difference between this and traditional debt settlement is there is no negotiating with creditors involved. Creditors have agreed in advance to reduce the amount owed. Consumers make fixed payments for 36 months to eliminate their debt.
- Debt Consolidation Loan – Consumers with solid credit scores should qualify for a debt-consolidation loan. Consumers use the loan money to pay off their credit cards, then begin monthly payments to the lender. The interest rate should be a fraction of that charged by credit card companies, which means big savings. The downside is that you still must pay back the loan and undisciplined consumers run the risk of running credit card balances back up, if they don’t stop using cards altogether.
- Bankruptcy – Touted in some circles as “a fresh start,” bankruptcy allows consumers to get rid of their credit card debt, but it should be your last resort. Bankruptcy can deliver welcome relief in the short term, but the damage can — and probably will — last for years. Bankruptcy weighs on the filer’s credit report for seven to 10 years. That means problems qualifying for a loan to buy a home or a new vehicle before the year 2030. Before choosing bankruptcy, carefully consider the future effects on your credit and your life.
Texas Debt Resources
Texans experiencing troubling times finding employment, securing suitable housing or paying their bills might qualify for financial assistance through a variety of federal and/or state programs. Here are some of the services that Texans might qualify for:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: The TANF program provides cash payments to help families buy clothing, food, shelter and other essential items. The program is designed for families with children 18 or younger.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program:The SNAP program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides financial assistance to eligible Texans with low or no income to purchase food. In Texas, funds are put onto the Lone Start Card and can be used just like a credit card at any store that accepts SNAP. This program can not be used to purchase tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, items that can’t be eaten or drank or to pay bills. Most adults age 18-49 with no children in the home can get SNAP for up to three months in a three-year period.
- Women, Infants and Children Program: The WIC program is a nutrition and health plan designed to improve the diets of infants and children as well as pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women.
- Texas Health and Human Services: Following a disaster, the HHS Commission will organize efforts to get information and relief to Texans in need of assistance. You should always call 9-1-1 for life-threatening, emergency situations that come as a result of disasters. However, you can call 2-1-1 to get answers to questions about assistance from SNAP, TANF and Medicare.
- Former Foster Care Children: Children in Texas’ foster care programs are eligible for Medicaid through the STAR Health program. Some of the services that are provided are regular doctor visits for checkups, dental visits, prescriptions for medicine and vaccines. Adoption Assistance and Permanency Care Assistance helps families with children transitioning from foster care with expenses related to adoption and health-care coverage.
- Medicare Savings Programs: If eligible for Medicare, the Texas’ Health Information, Counseling and Advocacy Program can help you enroll, find information and provide counseling about your options.
- Shelters and Services for Homeless Texans: All throughout Texas, there are a variety of shelters for residents who have found themselves without a safe place to stay. Day shelters supplement homeless and low-income when the shelter they are staying in is only available on an overnight basis. Emergency Homeless Shelters provide short-term relief for the homeless — usually with a maximum stay of three months of less. Halfway Housing helps transition individuals and families from shelters to permanent housing. Permanent affordable housing allows impoverished citizens to pay no more than 30% of their income toward rent. Other options include shared housing, boarding housing, supportive housing and transitional housing.
- Transportation for the Elderly: If you don’t have a vehicle or you no longer drive, you can get rides to and from your doctor visits through Texas’ transportation services. If you are older than 60, call your local agency on aging to secure transportation to and from your appointments. Those services can also be secured through the Medical Transportation Program.
Texas Debt Statistics
Here is a glimpse at some of the debt issues that Texans have on their books with as they head into 2022. Of course, the hope is that they will be able to eliminate as much of that debt as possible and have a more prosperous year ahead.
- Auto loan debt: Texans saw the amounts that they owe in auto loan debt rise 3% from 2019 to 2020. The average amount of auto loan debt climbed from $24,162 in 2019 to $24,821 in 2020 among Texans. That $24,821 owed on average is the second most auto loan debt in the nation behind only Wyoming.
- Credit card debt: Texans have, on average, $6,753 in credit card debt — the sixth highest amount in the U.S. That total is close to the national average of $6,194 credit card debt in 2021.
- Mortgage Debt: The average mortgage balances among Texans jumped from $177,924 in 2019 to $186,696 in 2020 — a 4.9% climb. The good news for Texans is that the $186,696 in 2020 ranked as just the 22nd highest in the nation.
- Student Loan debt: Collectively, Texas ranks second in the nation in terms of the most student loan debt at $111.3 billion. On average, Texans owe approximately $32,800 in student loans, which ranks 34th in the nation. Some 51% of graduates in Texas are saddled with student loan debt — the 17th most in America.
- Household debt: Texans owe, on average, $56,600. The problem, however, is that amount of debt is 100% of what residents bring home on a yearly basis. There are 25 states in America that spent at least 90% of their annual income, with 12 of them incredibly spending more than they make on average and going further and further into debt.
- Bankruptcy and foreclosures: As of May of 2021, Texas had 8,462 bankruptcy filings — the fifth-largest amount in the nation. Approximately 66% of those bankruptcies have been Chapter 7 with individuals looking to free themselves of unsecured debts (ones not backed by collateral). As for foreclosures, Texas ranks 22nd in the country (when including the District of Columbia). In the nation’s second-most populated state, that translated to 1 foreclosure in every 9,277 households in Texas.
- Credit scores: The financial struggles brought on by lean economic times have damaged credit scores for many Texans. On average, Texans have a credit score of 673 — the fourth lowest score in the nation. Only Mississippi (666), Louisiana (669), Oklahoma (672) and Alabama (672) have lower credit scores.
- Identity theft: Of every 100,000 people in Texas, some 465 of them fell victim to identity theft. In all, 134,788 people in Texas were victimized by identity theft — the 12th most in the nation.
About The Author
Joey Johnston has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist with the Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times. He has won a dozen national writing awards and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Sports Illustrated and People Magazine. He started writing for InCharge Debt Solutions in 2016.
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