Mississippi Credit Card Debt

As one of the southernmost states in America, Mississippi is filled with hot days, long nights and plenty to do in between. Cities like Jackson, Gulfport and Tupelo keep the entertainment scene alive while the natural and cultural wonders live deep within the dense forests and historical tales. MS is one of the most significant states in regards to music with roots in blues, jazz and rock and roll. Notable entertainers like Oprah Winfrey, Elvis Presley Morgan Freeman, William Faulkner and B.B. King once called Mississippi home. Although this southern state is teeming with beautiful natural surroundings, famous faces and cultural and historical importance, the economic matters are a whole different story. Debt consolidation offers Mississippians a way out of credit card debt so they can stay financially stable during the recession.

Economic Concerns in Mississippi

Currently Mississippi is ranked as the lowest state in some of the most fundamental economic matters. This includes the overall health care system where Mississippians are among the highest in the nation when it comes to the rate of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Welfare, food stamps and other social programs have all been cut or eliminated completely making it even harder for Mississippians to stay out of debt. Additional concerns stem from the fact that MS has the lowest per capita personal income of any state at $26,908.00. For household income, MS also ranks in the 50th position with $36,338.00. In regards to per capita real GDP, Mississippi also has the lowest in the nation at $24,403.00. This is 36 percent below the national average. The United States Census Bureau has indicated that these numbers, and others, make MS the poorest state in the country.

So what do all these low numbers mean for the typical Mississippian family? What it means is that there is a constant struggle to make end's meet and more and more Mississippians are crossing over to the dark side of debt. There really is no other option. And, with American's receiving 5 billion credit card offers per year, it only makes sense to charge some of the necessities of living to the credit card.

Mississippians have an average of $9,821.80 in credit card debt with an APR of 14.51%. This is the second largest outstanding debt in the nation, just after Kentucky. But what do these numbers really mean? With nearly $10,000 in debt and an annual interest rate of nearly 15%, Mississippians are paying nearly $1,500.00 in interest. This does not include the additional service, penalty and late fees that come with owning a credit card.

In regards to FICO scores, MS has one of the lowest credit scores in the nation with 668. The national average is 680 and, according to the analysts, anything below 700 can be considered ‘poor' credit score. So what does this mean exactly? A low credit score will result in a higher interest rate for a loan as well as less than favorable terms. Furthermore, low FICO scores usually equate to higher late fees and higher payments in general. This means Mississippians are paying more interest to the banks. Employment history, loan history, late payments and your credit history are all taken into consideration when determining your FICO score.

How Debt Consolidation Can Help

It may seem like there is really no way to avoid the inevitable sinking feeling that debt has taken over your life. After all, with rising interest rates, additional fees and increased living costs, there is really no way to rise above and beyond.

Actually, there is.

Debt consolidation may be the answer you are looking for. Consolidating your debt is a process of combining all your outstanding debts into one easy monthly payment that is suited towards your lifestyle and your current financial situation. Debt consolidators offer personal solutions and financial advocacy so you can eliminate that sinking feeling and start swimming towards the top. Debt consolidators provide expert advice without the fees you've come to expect. They can take the stress and embarrassment out of unpaid bills so you can work towards a debt-free tomorrow.

When speaking to a debt consolidator, you need to be completely upfront about your financial situation. Have you recently lost your job? Are you spending more than you make? Are you planning a big trip or perhaps hoping for an addition to the family that will make it even harder to make the monthly minimum payments? What are your spending habits like? All of these need to be discussed not only with the members of your household but also with your debt consolidator. The more information you give them, the better option and advice they will return. Before you meet with a debt consolidator, it is a good idea to sort through all your paperwork. This will ensure you are more organized for the journey ahead.

Additional Advice to Avoid Further Credit Card Debt

Once you have started the consolidation process, you will need to throw away those credit cards. It's hard, we know, but in order to pull yourself out of debt, you need to avoid your credit card like the plague. An average American currently owns four different credit cards. Take these four cards, hide them, rip them up or lock them in a cupboard where you cannot get to them. What's the best way to avoid credit card debt? Avoid credit cards completely.

So how can you survive without a credit card? First of all, always make a budget. This is your first step to debt reform. At the start of each month, sit down with your family and look over all the expenses. This includes your monthly consolidation bill as well as groceries, fuel, household items, entertainment and any additional expectant costs that your family will incur. Then, add a little extra for ‘emergency' money as well as daily spending money. Take your magic amount and only withdrawal this from the ATM machine. It is a lot easier to stay on budget when you can physically see the money you are spending.

During the week, look for sales on the items that you specifically need. For fuel, try to fill up on a Tuesday or Wednesday when the prices are usually cheaper. Look for discounts in your local grocery stores and always buy the weekly specials when it comes to poultry, meat, fruit and veggies. Purchase a tin of coffee and leave it in the office instead of making your daily dash to Starbucks and get in the habit of packing lunches the night before to avoid having to buy snacks throughout the day.

It may seem hard to avoid the season sales at your local clothing store or stay at home on a Saturday night but it is the only way to limit your spending and get out of credit card debt faster. Debt consolidation is one of the smartest and least stressful ways to walk away from debt without losing your home, your credentials and your mind. However, if you are like most Mississippians and are swimming in a sea of debt, then it is going to take a little extra effort to stay afloat. Debt reduction is possible; you just need to know where to start.