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Debt is a problem for millions of residents in South Carolina, but the socioeconomic climate in South Carolina is promising. With a population of approximately 4.9 million, the average household income is $45,483. It’s considerably more than the average income for many households in many areas of the country, but it’s not surprising. More than 85% of the population of South Carolina holds a high school diploma or associate’s degree. More than 25% of the population holds a Bachelor’s or graduate degree from an accredited university.

Unfortunately, the poverty rate in South Carolina is high. There are more than 860,000 families living below the state poverty level, which is $23,550 for a family of four. More than 27% of children under 18 live below the poverty level. It’s cities such as Lee and Williamsburg, McCormick and Allendale, and Dillon and Bamberg that have the lowest income and the most poverty. Cities such as Charleston, Beaufort, and Greenville are among the most affluent in the state. Debt is less likely to occur in these cities, but many people who live even in the most affluent locations live with ample debt.

Debt Collection Laws in South Carolina

If you’re one of the many people in South Carolina who live with debt you cannot afford to pay or consolidate with a loan from your bank, you do have options. Before you learn what those options are, it’s important to understand the debt collection laws and regulations in South Carolina. Information and education can change the way you view your debt as well as the way you pay it off.

If you have any debts you have not paid at all in 3 years or longer, the creditors and debt collectors contacting you no longer have the legal right to pursue payment using legal methods. This means they can contact you as much as they want, but they cannot take legal action to collect on those debts. They also cannot charge you more than 8.75% interest or garnish more than 25% of your weekly earnings.

It’s also imperative to note that no debt collection agency in South Carolina is permitted to use violence, threatening language, contact your friends or family or employer, or call more than once in a 24-hour period to collect a debt from you. These laws are strictly enforceable, and they are not something you should ignore if they begin to occur.

Who Should Apply for Debt Relief and How Does it Help?

Debt consolidation and relief is not the correct solution for all households in South Carolina. If you are paying low rates, it might not be the answer. If you can afford a consolidation loan from your bank, that’s your best option. Those rates are the lowest, and they are the ones that are the best for your credit score. Those who apply for consolidation loans through debt relief are already missing payments, making late payments, and have already affected their credit negatively. Since debt consolidation companies work to negotiate debt settlements with creditors, they won’t work with anyone who hasn’t made a late payment or missed a payment. Since this affects your credit for 7 years, it’s not advised you stop making payments if you can afford them.

If you are missing payments, it’s time to consider this as an option. It’s time to ask a settlement company to find a way for you to make lower payments, pay less interest, and settle the amounts you owe your creditors for less than what you owe. Many of these companies boast they save their customers as much as 40% of their debt, which is substantial.

It helps because consumers can pay off their debts faster and for less money. It’s not a decision to make lightly, but it’s one you can make that might just help you improve your future. By checking your interest rates versus the amount of time it takes you to pay off your debts based on the payments you can afford now in comparison to a consolidation loan, you’ll see which is right for you.

Now that you’re familiar with the debt collection laws and regulations as well as the wealth, poverty, and overall socioeconomic status in South Carolina, it’s time to make a decision. Don’t stop making payments and ruin your credit so you can apply for this type of debt relief. It’s not worth messing up your credit score. This is an option for those who have already hit rock bottom and need a boost to get them back into the game of paying off their bills and improving their financial lives. It’s help for those with exceptional financial need.