Consumer debt is one of the most challenging loans to control, as credit cards are easy to access, easy to swipe, and offer generous minimum payments. But banking on minimums is what puts many Americans into a spiral of financial disasters. Interest rates aren’t getting smaller, so leaving debt unsettled for extended periods can cause repayment values to bloat. Before you know it, you’re likely paying twice or more than the amount you initially owed.
Getting the help of debt consolidation in New Jersey can be the first step of uprooting you out of thousands in consumer loans. Read on to find out more about New Jersey’s financial situation and what enlisting in a debt management program can do for you.
Average Consumer Debt in New Jersey
Almost nine million people are living in highly metropolitan New Jersey. While only a fraction of the population is eligible to hold credit cards, the average consumer debt in the state has bloated to nearly $9,000. One of the biggest reasons for this rarely-dropping number is that many cardholders don’t pay more than the minimum each month, allowing interest rates to pile up.
Interest rates are the bane of many drowning in debt. While they seem harmless at first, with seemingly low values, these numbers can add up quickly and turn your $1,000 repayment into a $5,000 nightmare.
New Jersey Consumer Loans
Consumer loans make up a considerable portion of the New Jersey debt circle. The national average consumer debt per capita falls lower than $47,500. But in New Jersey, that value has reached an average of $62,300.
Where credit cards are concerned, New Jersey boasts the second-highest average credit debt per capita in the country, second only to Arkansas. Meanwhile, in the world of student loans, an average borrower in New Jersey carries a balance of over $36,000.
New Jersey Employment and Income Status
New Jersey’s unemployment rates soared during the peak of the pandemic, with numbers nearing 17% in mid-2020. However, the state has since been on a steady recovery toward bringing jobs back to its workforce, slashing its initial highs by over half—dropping them down to a friendlier 7%. It’s important to know that this number is still double its pre-pandemic state.
Despite its high unemployment rate, New Jersey also boasts one of the highest median incomes at approximately $85,000, which is about a quarter more than the median national income.
Residents of New Jersey who are struggling to find jobs can turn to government support. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development offers robust career services that include online training sessions, job boards, and one-on-one support.
Banking in New Jersey
As a bustling metropolis, New Jersey is home to an array of banks that operate both online and offline. The Department of Banking & Insurance has put together a list of state-approved banks legally operating within New Jersey. On that note, it’s highly recommended to work with financial institutions that are present in your state of residence to prevent long travel times in-between visits.
New Jersey Housing
Mortgage payments are another problem for New Jersey residents, where households that make about $126,000 per year owe an average mortgage of just over $230,000. This value is nearly 20% higher than the national average of $200,000 per household. At the end of 2020, the state’s mortgage delinquency rate was at 1.73%, which is among the highest in the country—falling between Delaware and Mississippi.
Prospective homeowners won’t find a lot of luck in the state, either. Since last year, housing prices have continued to soar by as much as 25%. Unfortunately, these high prices have yet to turn away investors who competitively swipe away homes from first-time homeowners. The market is tough for those without the same financial leverage to make a lump-sum payment.
Retirement in New Jersey
Retirees and retirees-to-be aren’t going to be happy to hear that New Jersey has been hailed as the worst state to retire in 2021. The factors that contributed to its abysmal ranking include:
- Its unfriendliness toward tax rates for retired individuals.
- High cost of living.
- The poor public healthcare facilities are unable to help financially struggling elderly.
Approximately 8% of the 65 and up population can’t afford doctor visits, while about 11% suffer from mental health issues.
While the narrative of struggling elderly echoes loudly in New Jersey, it isn’t unique to the state. America is facing a crisis of financially insecure elderly. People aged 65 and up are filing for bankruptcy three times more frequently than they did 20 years ago, and it’s not far-fetched to say that even grandparents are on the hunt for debt relief options.
Average Insurance Premiums in New Jersey
Like the rest of America, insurance premiums in New Jersey depend on who they’re covering. Full-coverage annual car insurance ranges from $1,600 for 50-60-year-olds to as high as $6,800 for 18-year-olds. Teens as young as 16 can get car insurance in New Jersey, but they’ll most likely be added to their parent’s policy.
Health insurance, which is sold in tiers, is usually cheaper for younger individuals and more expensive as the recipient ages. The cost ranges from $300 for bronze-tier insurance to over $1,500 for gold-tier insurance—billed monthly.
Veterans in New Jersey
New Jersey has a huge veteran community that makes up nearly 5% of the state’s population—that’s over 400,000 people! The Department of Military and Veteran Affairs is in charge of servicing these wonderful individuals, offering jobs, support, pension, and resources, among others. They also work closely with the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans to help veterans at risk of—or already—homeless. They can be reached at (877) 4AID-VET (877-424-3838).
New Jersey’s Financial Challenges During The Pandemic
Like the rest of the country—and the world—New Jersey was hard-hit by the effects of COVID-19. Unfortunately, while the state has been showing positive signs of recovery, they aren’t enough to refuel the economy and help individuals, families, and business owners who lost everything during forced closures and layaways.
It doesn’t help that the state’s public health services are still in disarray. They’re fighting hard against the pandemic and its new derivatives, but strict health measures have also made it difficult for the economy to climb back up. It’s a tradeoff that’s hard to balance. Moreover, the state’s finances are clearly not okay: its debt per taxpayer is the highest in America.
How Does New Jersey Debt Consolidation Work?
Debt consolidation is essentially a debt relief program that brings together all existing, qualifying debt into a single loan or credit card. The latter typically has a much lower interest rate, allowing you to decrease your monthly payments and overall repayment obligation.
A debt settlement or debt management company is usually in charge of consolidating loans. They have certified credit counselors that can assess your financial status by studying your credit report, credit score, loans, and other factors to determine the best program to suit your needs.
Of course, while debt consolidation is highly accessible, it’s not instantly granted to everyone. First, you need to get in touch with a debt management company, send in an application, and wait for results.
10 Signs You Need Debt Consolidation in New Jersey
Debt consolidation isn’t a solution for everyone. However, these signs can help you decide whether it’s a viable path to take in your debt-free journey.
- You’re motivated to go debt-free. Not making your repayments after getting the golden chance of consolidating debt can be abysmal to your credit score, so it’s essential to have your head in the game before committing to this huge step.
- You’re having trouble managing too many loans. A lot of people, especially New Jersey residents, can afford to make their repayments. But they forget to do so because they have too many loans and are too busy to micromanage their finances. Debt consolidation places all loans into one pull, so you only need to remember to make one repayment per cycle.
- You can afford to make repayments. After getting debt consolidated, there’s a chance for the interest rate to still be too high for your budget. Use a debt calculator or consult a certified credit counselor to figure out if you can afford the monthly payments.
- You have an early retirement goal. Debt can push your retirement date further and further—until you need to work past 65 to make enough to get by. If you want to retire early, you need to take debt repayments seriously. Consolidating can help set you on the right track.
- You changed your spending habits. Most consumer debt is accumulated through unwarranted spending habits, especially by how easy it is to swipe a credit card and forget about it for months. If you’ve made a lifestyle change or have committed to not spending, it may be time to consolidate your debt and get rid of them all.
- You found a great deal. Shopping around for a debt management plan can feel like shopping for a new handbag. You want to find the best deal possible to ensure that the new interest rate is worth the trouble of consolidating your debt.
- Your credit score is average. Some lenders require a specific credit score window to qualify for consolidation. If you have a credit score of around 650, you’re on the safe side. If yours is a little lower than that, your chances go down—but it still helps to try.
- You’ve learned how to budget. One of the toughest aspects of financial management is learning to designate money into spending categories. If you’ve got your budget game down, the next step is to pay off debt.
- You have a lot of debt. The first step to getting a debt consolidation is having a lot of debt. If you have five credit cards or more, collapsing them into one can make money management a lot easier.
- You’re running out of options. There are many ways to tiptoe around debt, but there comes a time when you can no longer apply for another credit card or the bank refuses to give you another loan. Shifting your focus toward repaying rather than holding the repayments off can make a huge difference in going debt-free.
Debt consolidation is a great way to bring up your credit score to make the monthly payments on time. Miss a few, and your score may plummet even further. At the same time, debt consolidation is an ideal solution if you’re having trouble managing your portfolio of loans and want a way to quickly and aggressively make repayments. A lower interest rate can make a huge difference in your finances and total repayment value. But you first need to get yourself together and be determined to make the repayments.
How to Get Debt Consolidation in NJ?
Prudent Financial Solutions has been helping financially-struggling individuals get a debt consolidation in New Jersey and jumpstart their debt-free journey. Find out your options by filling out this form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.
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For inquiries, call Prudent at +1 877-740-0012.