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The providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services® know what it’s like to struggle with debt. Our founder, Bernie Dancel, has been there, and many of us have, too. We got out, and we can help you, too. We know that every situation is unique and we can appreciate the different debt relief issues and economic factors residents of Alabama face.
We hear from our customers about how debt levels have been on the rise all over the country, including Alabama, despite some positive trends. For example, the state’s unemployment rate, at 7.4%1, is well below the national average, which is currently above 8%2. This is encouraging, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t show the complete picture. While Alabama may be enjoying low unemployment rates, salaries and wages for working Alabamans are lower than the national average. According to the Census Bureau, median income from 2006 to 2010 was $42,081 in Alabama3. This is much less than the national median of $51,914.4
Residents who earn less money have fewer funds left after paying for day-to-day living expenses to save for financial emergencies. If a job loss or unexpected injury or illness occurs, consumers are often forced to rely on credit cards and loans to make ends meet. Our own internal data shows that despite the fact that the number of individual debts has decreased 11% from 2010 to 2011; the average amount of debt increased 7% during that same time.
Younger residents seem to have it especially bad. Alabama has the 14th highest level of student loans in the country, and graduating seniors in 2010 had an average balance of $24,821, according to the Project on Student Debt5. It’s no surprise that our internal numbers also show that the number of residents age 18 to 24 seeking debt relief increased 49% from 2010 to 2011, and was a percentage point higher than our national average.
These tough economic times are also affecting women and families. According to our internal information, the majority of Alabama’s residents seeking debt relief last year were women, and the number was 9% higher than our national average. The data also shows that the number of residents seeking debt relief who claimed one or more dependants increased 80% from 2010 to 2011, and was 2% higher than our national average.
Whether you’re a resident of Alabama trying to stay on the right financial track, or are looking for debt consolidation help; CareOne providers offer multiple options to help you achieve financial freedom. Two examples are: Debt Management Plans (DMPs) and Debt Settlement Plans (DSPs).* DMPs allow you to combine your unsecured debt into a single monthly payment that fits within your budget. It may also allow you to lower your interest rates, which can help you get out of debt faster. With a DSP, you are able to make a deposit into an escrow account each month, which is then used to pay your creditors once a settlement is negotiated.
At CareOne we understand how debt can hinder you from reaching your goals. Many of us have been in your shoes. Our experience getting out of debt motivates us to provide our customers with the best service and support possible. Call one of our Certified Personal Finance Counselors® today to see if debt consolidation is right for you. We’ll review your unique situation, walk you through all your options and help you choose a customized debt relief action plan.
*Not all services are available in all states.