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As is the case in many states, Vermont’s economy is slowly growing after the “Great Recession”, but not as quickly as might be wished for. A recent forecast from economists at Economic and Policy Resources Inc. predicts that while the state economy is growing again, the pace of progress has slowed and may not fully recover until 2014 or 20151. The providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services® understand the concern and worry many Vermonters may be feeling when it comes to managing their budgets in these tough financial circumstances. Many of us have struggled with debt and making ends meet, which is why we’re committed to understanding the needs of citizens across the country and using our experience to help them achieve their own financial goals.
In general, the economic outlook in Vermont is not as dire as other states. The number of residents living below the poverty level is three percentage points below the national average and the medium per capita income is $51,841; on par with the national average2. Vermont also currently enjoys the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the country, just 4.7%, in comparison with the national rate of 8.2%3. But other indicators show that many Vermonters are facing difficulties. Vermonters are heavily taxed, with an 8.95% income tax, 6% sales tax (set to expire in 2013), property and estate taxes, as well as high gasoline taxes. In addition it is also one of just 13 states that taxes Social Security income4. For Vermont students an additional hurdle they may have to clear is student loan debt. 66% of all Vermont students are carrying student loan debt and the average amount owed is $28,391; the sixth highest in the country5.
Our own internal CareOne data shows that younger residents are seeking debt relief in greater numbers. The number of 18 to 24 year old Vermonters seeking debt relief rose 8% from 2010 to 2011. We saw a 3% growth in inquiries from 25 to 34 year olds, and a 1% increase in the number of 35 to 44 year old Vermonters seeking debt relief during that same time period. We also saw that, in general, the number of individual debts reported by all those Vermonters seeking debt relief increased 11% from 2010 to 2011, although fortunately the average amount of debt owed during that time period decreased by 6%.
Whether you’re a resident of Vermont or not, and regardless of the cause of your debt, the providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services understand that you need a customized solution to your unique financial situation in order to successfully work to free yourself from debt. When you call one of our Certified Personal Finance Counselors® you’ll receive a free debt analysis and they will walk you through all your available options, helping you to choose the right action plan for your lifestyle and your budget.