Sarah Edwards | July 21, 2022
Summary: If you're struggling with debt in Florida, SoloSuit can help you find the relief you need.
Despite the many reasons to love the Sunshine State, living in Florida can come with some financial drawbacks. Home prices have surged over the past year, in some cases as much as 32%. Rentals have also gone up, leaving individuals with higher monthly costs of housing.
While Floridians average some of the lowest credit card debt in the U.S., with a median of $1,300 per person, it can still be difficult to manage a combination of higher expenses and stagnant wages. Those in debt find it very hard to get out.
Unfortunately, there are no free solutions for getting debt relief. You may see advertisements that suggest no-cost debt relief, but steer clear—these are scams.
If you truly want to overcome your debt problems in Florida, you'll need to get rid of them either the old-fashioned way—by paying them off—or by utilizing debt consolidation, debt settlement, or bankruptcy. We'll explore each of these options in this guide.
When you're fighting debt as a resident of the state of Florida, there are a few programs that may be able to help you get back on your feet. Some of the most common financial aid programs in Florida include:
Paying down your debts involves making a substantiated effort to pay off your bills. You can do this by figuring out how much you owe and taking a financial inventory of your income and expenses.
To start, take a look at how much you're earning and what your costs are each month. You'll consider your income from all sources: wages, investments, gig earnings, and any other areas. Next, you'll consider your monthly expenses.
Common expenses include housing, food, transportation, monthly debts, and any other items you regularly pay for. Separate the essentials from the non-essentials. Non-essentials can be such expenses as entertainment, dining out, or subscriptions that you pay for but don't use.
Once you know how you're earning and spending your money, you'll need to add up all of the unsecured debt that you're paying for. This may include credit cards, medical debts, or student loans. Outline your monthly payments as well as outstanding balances.
Next, set up a monthly financial budget. Try to eliminate as many non-essential items as you can. While giving yourself the occasional treat is normal (and you should allow for it), cutting down on dining out and other activities can be quite helpful in paying down your debt fast. You should put as much as you can each month toward paying off debts.
Once you have your budget in place and have established how much money you have available each month to pay off debts, figure out the method you're going to use to pay them off.
The most widely recommended method is called snowballing. Using this technique, you select the smallest debt you have and pay it off first while making minimum payments on your other debts.
As an example, pretend that you owe $750 to one credit card company and $1,000 to another. The minimum monthly payment on both cards is $75. You have $300 available to pay down your debts each month.
Thus, you'll make a payment of $75 to the credit card company with $1,000 in debt, while you'll pay $225 to the company with $750 in debt. By the fourth month, you'll have paid off the $750 debt and can apply the full $300 to your $1,000 debt.
For those who have decent credit scores, using a debt consolidation loan can be a good option. This involves taking out a loan to pay off all of your debts at once.
Debt consolidation loans usually offer low introductory interest rates for a certain period of time. If you have the means to do so, you can take out the loan, pay off all of your debts with higher interest rates, and make a single payment to your new lender.
Consider someone who has three credit cards totaling $6,000 in credit card debt at an average interest rate of 15%. If this person obtained a debt consolidation loan for $6,000 and an introductory APR of 0% for the first year, they could use it to pay off all of their debts.
Afterward, they could make monthly payments of $500 until their debt was finally eliminated at the end of the year. This would save them hundreds of dollars in interest.
There are a number of different debt settlement programs available to those who want to settle their debt for a fraction of the original amount.
These programs may be able to reduce the original value of your debt by up to 60%, but their services do come at a cost. Before going with debt settlement, make sure you have a clear understanding of the debt settlement agreement, the fees that will be charged, and how the program works.
For those with severe financial issues that they don't believe can be overcome, bankruptcy may be an option. There are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most debts, but people must meet certain requirements before their debts are discharged. This type of bankruptcy is generally best for those with low income and few assets.
Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you'll gain freedom from some debts, but others you will need to repay. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is best for people who own property and have the means to pay off some of their debts.
If you're facing a debt lawsuit, SoloSuit can help you respond and win in court. SoloSuit may even help you stay ahead of collectors before a lawsuit begins. Click to learn more about SoloSuit's services today.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
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Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.