Oklahoma Debt Relief
Located at the crossroads of several diverse cultural and geographic regions, the state of Oklahoma borders six different states — Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri. As such, the Sooner State incorporates a unique blend of Southern, Southwestern, and Midwestern influences. It is also home to the second-highest population of Native Americans in the country, trailing only Alaska. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has over 350,000 enrolled members, with over half living in the state itself.
Oklahoma Residents Face Inflation and Low Incomes
Unfortunately, vibrant culture and rich history don’t offset the impacts of inflation. The cost of groceries, gasoline, and other consumer goods is rising at the fastest rate in four decades, and ordinary American families are feeling the impact of this.
The risk is even higher in a low-cost-of-living state like Oklahoma, where a family of four had a median income of $78,458 and a living wage of $86,333 before inflation went through the roof. Many families face financial hardship and have turned to credit card debt to stay afloat.
Oklahoma Debt Relief
Oklahoma’s average credit card debt of $5,848 is right around the national average of $6,194. This doesn’t seem like a problem until you realize that, for the most part, Oklahoma is ranked well below average in important financial health metrics.
To give an example, the per capita income for Oklahoma in the 2020 census was $29,873, while the national number was $35,384. It is harder to pay off $6,000 while working in Oklahoma than it would be in California, where the median income is $38,576, or Texas, where it is $32,177. No wonder Oklahoma debt relief is such a hot topic these days.
How Do People End Up in Credit Card Debt?
Because of low incomes and the increased cost of living in Oklahoma, people find it hard to make ends meet, and it’s very easy to end up in credit card debt.
Low incomes and high inflation
When the cost of living increases but salaries don’t budge, people find it difficult to make ends meet, particularly toward the end of the month. Most people in Oklahoma live paycheck to paycheck. They have to pay for groceries, gas, and utilities, and often their salary can’t cover these necessities. If, on top of necessities, they need to pay off student loan debt, payday loans, or some other type of consumer debt, then the chances of using their credit card for whatever expenses they can increase.
When push comes to shove, people turn to their credit cards to fill the gap. If this goes on for several months, the credit card balance increases, and most people end up struggling to keep up with their monthly debt payments. Add the high-interest rates that banks charge on credit cards, and it’s no wonder that the credit card balance increases to dangerous levels and is often maxed out.
Unexpected expenses can upset even the best-managed budget. Home or car repairs come about when you least expect them and when you are the least prepared.
Some households have an emergency fund to cover such unpredictable expenses. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the financial ability to save money in a savings account every month for such a fund. When something requires fixing, most households in Oklahoma pay for it with their credit card and hope to be able to pay off their debt in the future.
It is thus very easy to enter a spiral of credit card debt when you have maxed out your card with unavoidable expenses.
Medical expenses can greatly impact your credit card balance. Even people with health insurance often have a deductible they have to pay before the insurance kicks in. The average deductible in the United States is $2,200. If you don’t have the money to pay the deductible, it is normal to charge medical bills to your credit card.
Likewise, health insurance sometimes doesn’t cover all health costs. As for uninsured people living in Oklahoma, a health incident can seriously impact their finances. When faced with such health issues, most people charge the expense on their credit card because health is more important than anything else.
Minimum payments: a trap you should avoid
Minimum monthly payments are the minimum amount you have to pay toward your credit card debt every month. Minimum payments are calculated based on the overall balance on your credit card and increase when your balance increases.
You might think that minimum monthly payments pay a portion of your debt but in fact, they mostly cover the interest. Banks charge interest on credit cards: that’s how they make money. Banks charge interest and fees on all their loans, including mortgages, personal loans, car loans, and private student loans. Credit cards have the highest interest rate of all because they are a type of unsecured debt, which means that for the bank they are attached to a higher risk.
Your minimum monthly payment includes mostly interest and very little of it goes toward paying off your actual debt. When you only pay the minimum monthly payment, you are just keeping up with the interest and it will take years for you to pay off your credit card debt this way, even if you don’t use your credit card anymore.
Minimum monthly payments are a major cause of credit card debt. As debt relief specialists here at Americor, we know how minimum payments can become a trap where you pay and still see your debt increase.
Credit card delinquency
If you fail to pay your credit card minimum payments for more than two consecutive months, your credit card debt is delinquent. The bank can then increase the interest rate because they consider you a high-risk debtor and your credit score takes a hit. Low credit scores mean you can’t get a car loan, a mortgage, or a personal loan.
When you miss several minimum monthly payments, the bank has the right to send the debt for collection. Sooner or later, you will have to face debt collectors.
Debt Relief Options in Oklahoma
There is no need to panic when you come up against credit card debt. Americor is here to help you find the best debt relief option for you if you need help with debt.
Credit counseling in Oklahoma
Credit counseling can help you understand how your household and your finances work together. Professional credit counselors assess your income, expenses, and level of debt and then help you with budgeting and money management.
Credit counseling is one option for debt relief. It can help you evaluate your expenses and organize them in a way that leaves space to repay your debt. For example, you might lower your bills with better management, cheaper services, and bundling expenses together for better rates.
A credit counseling agency aims at helping you manage your finances in a way that maintains your life standard but still leaves enough room to pay off your debt beyond the minimum monthly payments.
Debt consolidation loans
One of the top debt relief strategies for many people is a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans consolidate multiple credit card debts into one single low-interest loan.
Debt consolidation works for multiple credit card debts. Credit card accounts come with high-interest rates. A debt consolidation loan has a lower interest rate and a long repayment period. You get to benefit from lower loan payments and it’s always easier to manage one monthly payment than multiple ones on various credit cards and with varying interest rates.
You need to have a good credit score to qualify for a debt consolidation loan and there are terms and conditions associated with it. You must also make sure you are consistent with the monthly payments.
Debt settlement in Oklahoma
Debt settlement is another debt relief option you should consider if you are struggling with paying off your debt. Debt settlement companies can negotiate a debt settlement for you with your creditors to reduce the amount of debt you owe them, based on your income, expenses, household needs, and debt level. Typically, debt settlement reduces your credit card debt by 25% to 50%.
It is common to repay the remaining debt in a lump sum to the bank. Once you have done that, you are debt-free.
Debt settlement may impact your credit score and make it more difficult for you to secure a loan from your bank. If you keep up with sound financial management, though, your credit score should bounce back within 12 to 18 months.
Debt management counselors can design a Debt Management Plan (DMP) to help you manage your debts and pay them off in a way that matches your income. A debt settlement company will work with your creditors and negotiate lower interest rates so that your credit card debt becomes more bearable. They will also ask the bank to waive late fees which were charged if you failed to pay the minimum payment and negotiate longer repayment periods to make monthly payments more manageable and more achievable.
The goal of a debt management program is to help you be debt-free within a reasonable time frame, while making monthly payments easier for you to repay without burdening your household budget.
Bankruptcy is the last debt relief solution to consider when you cannot find debt relief with other debt relief strategies. When other options like debt settlement or debt management can’t bring financial stability, bankruptcy can be a solution.
Bankruptcy involves a legal process with the help of an attorney who states your case in court. During the legal proceedings, your income, expenses, and debt levels are taken into account.
Claiming bankruptcy can lead to a significant reduction of your debt or its complete discharge. However, filing for bankruptcy has long-term consequences on your credit score. Banks will be reluctant to give you a loan and it may take a few years for your credit score to recover.
Get out of Debt in Oklahoma
Debt relief is available to you. Americor debt counselors are there to help you achieve financial stability and a future unburdened by credit card debt.
We create custom-made solutions for you because no two debts are similar. Our aim is to find the mix of debt relief strategies that work for your debt.
Americor Offers Oklahoma Debt Help
Contact us for a free consultation and for more information on the debt relief services we provide and the debt relief programs available. Take advantage of our company’s great service and support, and get started today on your journey to financial independence.
Call us today via the links below to find out how our debt advice works and the range of support and debt solutions available. Our company provides services for debt relief in Oklahoma and helps our customers find their way to financial freedom.
There are straightforward options for Oklahoma debt relief, you just have to know where to look. Here are a few ways to avoid the minimum monthly payment trap and get out of debt.
Our Clients Say...
“In 2020, I was drowning in debt. I enrolled in Americor for my 10 creditors for $110,000… and today (three years later) I have cleared my entire balance. It was not an easy process, but Americor guided me through and I am debt free!”
“I was down $80k in business debt, and I remember hearing Americor radio advertising. My credit score was down to 570 from 810. I’ve been in the program for over 3 years. It works, just be patient. And my credit score is currently back up to 710!”