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Younger Maine Residents Struggling with Debt

The providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services®; know how it feels to be in debt. Many of us, including our founder, Bernie Dancel, have been in your shoes. We also know what it takes to get out of debt, and our mission is to assist people in their own journey out of debt.

We hear from residents across the nation about their financial challenges. Maine residents who are seeking debt relief tell us they’re having a hard time making their earnings and their bills align. Looking at the statistics, that’s perhaps unsurprising, as Maine ranked last for per capita personal income growth in the lower 48 states in 2011. With a low growth rate of only 3.3%, the only state with a growth rate slower than Maine’s was Alaska, with 2.9%. Maine’s average per capita personal income of $37,973 stood 9% lower than the national average1.

While Maine’s unemployment rate2 remains below the U.S. average, it increased from 7% to 7.5% in the first six months of 2012. This trend is a matter for concern when combined with the fact that Maine ranked 45th in the nation in 2011 for per capita job creation3 . Unemployment rates were highest for Maine’s younger population, at 20.5% amongst those aged 16 to19 years and 16.2% for those aged 20 to 24 years4.

CareOne’s own data reveals that the number of Maine residents seeking debt relief in the 18 to 24 age bracket increased 30% from 2010 to 2011. Across all age groups, the average number of individual debts reported by people seeking debt relief in Maine grew by 7% year over year, which is 4% above our national average, and the amount of debt reported was 16% higher than our national average.

Moreover, Maine’s student loan debt is the second highest in the country. The Class of 20105 report calculates that 68% of Maine graduates carried student loan debt, averaging $29,983. To add to the problem faced by Maine’s graduates, student loan debts cannot usually be included in debt consolidation plans. However, with a debt relief plan, many consumers are able combine their unsecured debts into one monthly payment, which can reduce the financial pressure on their budgets, making it easier to cope with student loan payments.

The providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services are here to help, whatever your circumstances. Our Certified Personal Finance Counselors® will work with you to help you regain financial health, using proven and practical strategies based on our own experiences with debt. We’ll walk you through all your options and help you choose a customized action plan to help get you back on track and in control.

For further reading on debt in other New England states see our articles on New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut

 

1 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Office of the Census, http://www.bea.gov/regional/bearfacts/pdf.cfm?geoType=3&baseyear=2011&fips=19000&areatype=19000
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.me.htm#eag_me.f.2
3 Maine Center for Economic Policy, http://www.mecep.org/news_detail.asp?news=2186
4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://bls.gov/web/empsit/cpseea10.htm
5 Student Debt and the Class of 2010, The Project on Student Debt by The Institute for College Access & Success, November 2011
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