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The providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services® understand debt. Many of us have overcome debt ourselves and we’re committed to helping others find a way out of debt too. We’ve helped over 5 million people and counting, including residents in the state of Maryland. We hear from our Maryland customers that debt is as much of a challenge for them as it is everywhere else.
That may seem surprising, as Maryland has one of the higher per capita income rates in the country, with a personal income of $51,038 per capita1 in 2011. This sounds like positive news for Maryland residents, but it’s offset by a higher cost of living. The Cost of Living Index2 for the Baltimore metro area was 119.4 in 2010, as compared to the national average of 100, and the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick metro area cost of living was even higher, at 130.5.
One segment of the Maryland population that is feeling the burden is women. Our research shows that the majority of Maryland residents seeking debt relief are women, at a rate 4% above that of the national average, and the number increased by 1.74% from 2010 to 2011.
Students in Maryland represent another segment of the state’s population who are struggling with debt. According to the Washington Business Journal3, Maryland students carry the highest average of outstanding student loan debt in the nation. The report cites an average figure of $33,087 in outstanding student loan debt in Maryland in May 2012, from data by the credit monitoring service CreditKarma.com. CareOne’s own statistics show that the number of 18-24 year old Maryland residents seeking debt relief increased 17% from 2010 to 2011, although that is still 10% below the national average for that age group. During that same time period, those in the 25-34 year age range seeking debt relief increased by 6%.
Maryland was also ranked as having the third highest average mortgage debt per person in the US in a Fox Business News report. The average mortgage debt of $242,445 is partly attributed to the high value of homes in Maryland. Yet CareOne’s data shows that not all Marylanders are benefiting from homeownership. In fact, our data shows that the majority of residents seeking debt relief rent rather than own their own home, at 4.3% over the national average. In addition, Maryland placed third in the top ten states for credit card debt with an average of $7,226 per person . These combined factors indicate that many Maryland residents may have found themselves in a stressful economic predicament and may not know where to turn for help.
At CareOne, we understand the financial concerns of our Maryland customers and we want to help. Our Certified Personal Finance Counselors® help you explore your debt consolidation options so that you can work toward eliminating your credit card and other unsecured debt. Debt consolidation helps by combining payments to participating creditors into one monthly payment, with other potential benefits such as lower interest rates or reduced or eliminated late fees. Our counselors walk you through the steps and choices so that you can find the most effective personalized plan for your financial needs.