Americans have been struggling with debt for the last decade, with many being left unable to pay their bills or provide for their families. Thousands have lost their jobs, their homes, or both since the recession began. For many, it is still a daily struggle to climb out of debt one step at a time. In Florida especially, even the most frugal individuals may have found themselves under a mound of debt for reasons out of their control.
Why Are Floridians So Indebted?
In Florida, credit card debt is higher than average, large mortgages are prevalent, and many are unable to pay back their heavy student loans. In fact, Florida’s average credit card debt remains slightly above the national individual average of around $6,000. Since 2007, the housing market crash has left its sting as homes lost their value and mortgages became more difficult to pay off. Since three of the ten largest universities in the United States belong to Florida, students are graduating with over $16,000 worth of student loan debt.
Why Does Debt Occur So Frequently?
There are positive aspects of debt: the reasons why people use credit cards and take out loans in the first place. Debt allows people to purchase their homes or vehicles, send their kids to college, or enjoy owning things in the present that can be paid off in the future. Debt, especially short-term debt, can actually be a lifesaver when it comes to needing quick cash for medical bills, car repairs, or even just to get the rent paid.
Short-Term Debt, Long-Term Gain
So what are some of the ways to use debt as an advantage rather than becoming trapped by it?
1. Stick to a plan. It is easy to begin to feel comfortable with debt, and continue adding to it instead of staying focused and paying it down. Be sure to consider every possible scenario before taking out a loan or pulling out the credit card.
2. Get an emergency fund. It is important to start saving for emergencies so that day to day survival does not become an issue. Most people with emergency funds try to save anywhere from one to three month’s worth of living expenses, so that if the worst happens, they will not need to panic.
3. Take out a short-term loan. For the times when the emergency fund runs out, or for people living paycheck to paycheck who have an unexpected financial dilemma, a short-term loan like an auto title loan can be a solution. Embassy Loans offers auto title loans online for people who need help quickly, without the lengthy application or credit check process that other loans require.