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The providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services® know how it feels to be in debt, because many of us have been there ourselves. However, we also know what it takes to overcome debt – and we want to help you overcome your own financial obstacles. We know that one key to success is to listen to our customers and understand their particular concerns, and we hear from people in South Carolina every day and know that many people are still struggling for a variety of reasons. One factor affecting many residents is the sluggish housing market. Our internal data shows that the majority of South Carolina residents who seek debt relief rent rather than own their own home, but the number of homeowners seeking debt relief increased 8% from 2010 to 2011 and was 14% higher than our national average. This may be due to falling home values. Homeowners who may have previously sought a home equity loan as a debt solution may find they no longer have that option, because their houses are not worth as much as they once were. South Carolina, like much of the nation, has seen home values depreciate by 30 to 40% in some cases.
However, there are signs that the South Carolina real estate market may be improving. According to the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, home values have risen by 3.74% which is more than double the 1.12% average improvement seen nationwide1. They also reported that new home building permits were up over 60% from the previous year, which is the largest year over year increase since January 1989.
According to Doug Woodward, an economics professor at the University of South Carolina, as reported on CNN Money, manufacturing jobs grew about 5% last year in the state, and are projected to increase an additional 5% in 2012. Meanwhile, the cities of Columbia, Charleston, and Rock Hill are being helped by jobs in professional and business services, which have rebounded to levels last seen in 2007. The education and health services sectors have also seen increases in hiring, and have grown 8% over the last three years2.
Even though these statistics are reasons for optimism, the state unemployment rate is still 9.1%, making it the 6th highest in the U.S. In some rural areas the unemployment rate is almost 17% and many of the residents live in poverty2. It may take years for employment rates to return to the lower levels that were experienced before the recent recession.
If you have been affected by the struggling economy in South Carolina, and are interested in learning whether or not debt consolidation might be the right choice for you, call one of our Certified Personal Finance Counselors® today. We know that everyone’s situation is different, so we’ll provide a free debt analysis and walk you through your available options. Then, we can recommend a customized plan to get you back on track.