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As providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services®, we are committed to helping those who are struggling with debt regain control over their finances. This deep commitment began when Bernie Dancel, who overcame his own battle with debt, created the CareOne brand of debt relief services. Today, many of our employees, who have also found their own way out of debt, help others do the same. Many of those who reach out to us for help with their debt, including Indiana residents, do so because they are simply unable to keep up with the rising costs of daily living. A closer look at the data may provide some insight as to specific challenges facing Indiana residents. For example, amongst all 50 states, Indiana ranked 41st for personal income per capita in 2011, which is 15% lower than the U.S. average income1.
CareOne’s own research shows that, although the number of individual debts reported by Indiana residents seeking debt relief decreased slightly between 2010 and 2011, the average amount of debt they reported increased by 9%, and was 8% higher than our national average.
Moreover, Indiana is one of the top six states that experienced a large increase in poverty between 2006 and 20102, and although Indiana’s bankruptcy rate fell slightly in the first quarter of 2012, the state is still ranked 9th in the country for per capita bankruptcy filings3.
Student debt in Indiana is also a major concern for residents. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education estimates that tuition and fees in Indiana colleges rose by more than 100% in the last decade4 and undergraduate Indiana students took on an average of $30,000 in debt for each degree they earned in 20095, which is over $10,000 higher than the national average, per degree. The stress of student debt is evident in loan default statistics: Indiana showed the third highest default rate on federal student loans (11.61%) after Arizona and Arkansas, according to a 2011 report6.
Our data also supports the conclusion that younger Indiana residents are struggling to make ends meet. The number of Indiana residents aged 18-24 seeking debt relief grew by 37% from 2010 to 2011, and was 10% higher than our national average.
It’s no wonder that in these trying financial times, many people look to debt consolidation for relief. Unfortunately for those struggling to pay off the cost of their education, student loan debt cannot generally be included in debt consolidation plans. However, many people find that by consolidating their unsecured debt, , the pressure is relieved on their overall budget, making it more manageable to pay off student loans.
At CareOne we understand that there are multiple reasons for debt, which is why we are proud to offer customized solutions that fit your unique situation. Call one of our Certified Personal Finance Counselors® today for a free debt analysis. They’ll review your situation, walk you through your options and help you determine the right action plan to help get you back on track.