According to a report by the Credit Examiner, in 2012, Maryland ranked as one of the top five states with the highest consumer debt. The report found that Maryland consumers have an average of $26,374 in consumer debt compared to the national average of $15,185.
However, a report by the Social Science Research Council listed Maryland in the top five states with higher-than-average income, a statistic that indicates that there are those in the state who could benefit from Maryland debt relief services.
Maryland Debt Relief Statistics
Several statistics that give an even better picture of the need for Maryland debt relief services in the state. They include:
- Unemployment Statistics: As of July 2013, Maryland’s unemployment rate stood at 7.0 percent, just slightly lower than the national average of 7.7 percent. However, several counties in Maryland have unemployment rates significantly higher than the national average, such as Baltimore City with 10.8 percent, Somerset County with 10.4 percent and Dorchester County with 10 percent. Montgomery County had the lowest unemployment rate with 5.3 percent. (bls.gov/ro3/mdlaus.htm)
- Student Loan Debt: Maryland ranks 28th among the 50 states in the average debt students hold after leaving college at $24,002. However, 55 percent of students who attend college in Maryland end up with student loan debt when they graduate, placing the state in 32nd position. (projectonstudentdebt.org/state_by_state-data.php)
- Poverty Level: According to the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, 10 percent of Maryland citizens live under the federal poverty level of $23,021 annual salary. Baltimore City had the highest number of citizens living under the poverty level with 24 percent, while Calvert and Howard Counties had the lowest with 5 percent each. (http://www.marylandpolicy.org/dnn/researchanalysis/stateofworkingmaryland2012/poverty.aspx)
- Credit Card Debt: CNN Money reported in 2011 that Maryland consumers held just over $7200 in credit card debt, a nine percent reduction since 2010. (http://www.money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/credit_card_debt/index.html). Maryland is one of a few states that passed laws over the past few years to protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices. One of these, passed in 2011, requires collection agencies to provide proof to consumers that the debt valid. This proof must include signed affidavits and lists of purchase, and not simply the debtors name and social security number. (articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-09-07/news/bs-md-court-of-appeals-rules-change-20110907_1_debt-collection-high-court)
- Bankruptcy: In 2012, there were 23,814 bankruptcy filings in the state, a reduction of 7.2 percent since 2011. (uscourts.gov/statistics/bankruptcystatistics/interactive-map.aspx)
These statistics indicate that there are many citizens who could benefit from Maryland debt relief services.
Debt Consolidation in Maryland
One option available for consumers in the state is Maryland debt consolidation. In this option, credit counselors work directly with creditors to reduce interest rates, which lowers the monthly payments a debtor must pay. The debtor then pays the lower payment amount in one monthly payment to the debt consolidation company, who, in turn, send the payments to the creditors. Because the payments are lower, the debtor has more disposable income for other needs, including savings. In addition, the debtor is able to pay the balance on their loans more quickly, allowing them to get out of debt faster than if they continued to pay the higher interest rates and monthly payments.
Maryland Debt Settlement
Sometimes called debt arbitration or debt negotiation, Maryland debt settlement is not the same as debt consolidation. Debtors pay a set monthly payment into a trust or escrow account based on a program set up by the debt settlement company. The debt settlement company works with creditors, negotiating a reduction in the balance due. Once the creditor and settlement company reach an agreement, and the debtor approves the settlement, the creditor is paid from the trust account, effectively paying off the balance for less than what was originally owed. Although this process may cause a drop in credit scores temporarily as creditors are not paid monthly as in debt consolidation, the process allows the consumer to become debt free in less time, effectively saving them a significant amount of money. All fees and settlement costs are included in the monthly payment. Balances in the trust account remain in the account until the debtor and creditor authorize the settlements, and the only amount paid to the debt settlement company are those authorized in the initial contract.
For Maryland consumers who are struggling under high credit card debt and loan balances, a debt relief service may be the best option.
Maryland Debt Relief for Federal Student Loans
Maryland debt relief companies can also provide assistance to those who may be struggling under significant student loan debt. Because student loans are often federally funded, they are not eligible for debt consolidation or debt settlement. However, there are student loan relief options available to those who are unable to make those payments.
Contact us today at 866-376-9846 or by filling out the form above, to see how we can help you with achieving Debt Relief.