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Rhode Island might be the smallest state in the United States, but there are seven other states with fewer residents. This small state boasts a population of approximately 1.05 million residents, and many of them live with some debt. Whether they incurred this debt when the economy crashed in 2008 and many businesses were closed and jobs lost, or they simply didn’t handle their finances well for a few years, debt is real in Rhode Island. Many residents are paying debt each month they can’t really afford, and many of them struggle to make decisions about buying groceries or paying credit card bills on time. Those who aren’t struggling to pay at least the minimum payment on their debts and who have good credit are in a good place. They are more likely to qualify for a debt consolidation loan through their bank or other financial institution. Those who do struggle and have bad credit are left with few options.

Debt Relief in Rhode Island

There are always options even if your bank will not lend you the money to pay off your debts to remove the many payments you’re making to several creditors in exchange for one low payment and one interest rate. You can rely on the help of a debt relief consolidation program, which can help you pay off of your bills and make your situation seem a lot more manageable.

This type of debt relief is often helpful to Rhode Island residents who are already caught up in the problem of making late payments to creditors or who are missing them all together. Since your credit is already being affected negatively, this won’t hurt much more. This is the process of contacting a debt relief company to settle your debts on your behalf. They’ll contact your creditors, ask them to settle your debts for less than you owe, close your accounts, and supply you with one monthly payment to them with one interest rate. You’ll pay them for a specific number of years until each account has been paid off in full. It does affect your credit, and these negative items don’t come off for 7 years. However, it’s a great way to pay off your debts and improve your credit in the meantime.

This is the type of relief program that’s not great for all consumers. Only those who are already missing payments and struggling to make their debt payments each month should consider it. You don’t want to voluntarily hurt your credit by no longer making payments to creditors while a consolidation company works out settlements on your behalf. It’s beneficial if you have already negatively affected your credit because you get to pay your bills off faster and for less money since your interest rate is lower.

Debt Relief Laws in Rhode Island

Before you call a debt relief company, there are a few things you should know regarding the laws concerning debt relief and collectors. Rhode Island is a difficult state in that all your debts are valid for 10 years according to the statute of limitations. What this means is your creditors and/or debt collectors can pursue payment from you on any bills you missed paying for a maximum of 10 years including the use of legal means to get their money. This is not good news for many people. Additionally, Rhode Island law allows collectors to charge you up to 12% interest on all collections loans on top of the interest you already owe the creditor. The only people free of wage garnishment are those who are working in the military, otherwise federal law only protects 75% of your income from debt collectors.

Wealth and Poverty and Socioeconomics in Rhode Island

A few more than 86% of residents living in Rhode Island have a high school diploma or associate’s degree while approximately 32% of the population has a Bachelor’s degree or Graduate degree. The median household income is almost $57,000, which is very close to the national average, but more than 13.9% of the people who reside here live below the poverty level. In terms of the wealthiest counties, it’s Washington and Bristol where the median family income is above $87,000 per year. The county with the most poverty is Providence County, where the median family income is far less.

Living in Rhode Island means there are much stricter rules regarding debt and repayments of those debts, but there is help for families who are struggling and have already seen the negative effects of their poor financial choices. Don’t assume you have no options when you can contact a debt relief company for help to get your financial life in order once again.