Missourians have generally been doing quite well when it comes to credit card debt since the pandemic started. In fact, the state ranks a relatively low 31st in terms of highest credit card balances in 2020, with consumers carrying an average balance of $4,950.
The state of Missouri has made a costly mistake by overpaying on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. Nearly 46,000 Missourians were mistakenly paid $150 million worth of aid, which could now result in liens being placed on their homes, wages being garnished, or money being taken from their state and federal income taxes.
Missouri Consumer Debt
According to the latest Household Debt report from the Federal Reserve, the following is a breakdown of the average consumer debt in Missouri by type.
Total household debt: $41,390
In 2020, the number of Missourians filing for bankruptcy decreased compared to the previous year. A total of 12,313 people filed for bankruptcy in 2020, while 17,054 people filed for bankruptcy in 2019.
Missouri’s employment and income
Missouri falls below the national average when it comes to per capita income, with residents bringing in $51,177 on average compared to the $59,729 national average. However, Missouri’s minimum wage of $10.30 is slightly higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The median household income in Missouri is $55,461.
Right-to-work laws vary from state to state, but in Missouri, employees can choose whether or not they want to join a union. Union members can resign their membership at any time, and non-members only have to pay for their share of proven bargaining costs incurred by the union.
Individuals who are not union members cannot be required to pay any fees until the costs have been specified. However, an individual can still dispute the costs provided by the union.
In Missouri, employment is at-will, which means that an employer can end the employment relationship at any time and for any reason. Likewise, an employee can terminate their employment at any time. Because of this, neither the employer nor the employee is guaranteed to uphold their end of the employment agreement.
In Missouri, workers have the freedom to choose their own employment. However, this can also mean less job security and fewer benefits. As a result, job seekers must be prepared to negotiate for their own benefits. It is also wise to have a substantial emergency savings fund in case of unemployment.
Missouri has experienced a decrease in unemployment rates over the past year. In September 2021, the state’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent – 1.1 points below the national average. This puts Missouri in 16th place when it comes to unemployment rates.
The minimum amount you can receive per week is $35, and the maximum is $320. You can receive unemployment benefits for a maximum of 20 weeks.
Unemployment Insurance Program information
File an online UI claim
File a claim by telephone number
Missouri Banking and Taxes
Different states have different income tax rates. For example, Missouri’s income tax rate range is 1.5%-5.4%. The state sales tax in Missouri is 4.225%, with local tax rates ranging between 4.225% and 10.35%.
In Missouri, fewer people have bank accounts compared to most other states. According to data, 6.2% of the population does not have a savings or checking account.
Housing Market in Missouri
Missourians looking to purchase a home may find themselves feeling frustrated, as the state is currently in a seller’s market. Home prices statewide are typically below or equal to the national average ($230,000), but in more populated areas like Columbia, they may be slightly higher. The median listing price for homes in Columbia is $239,000.
In November 2021, home prices in the state increased by 7% compared to the previous year. In addition, the number of homes sold rose by 2.2%. However, the number of homes for sale fell by 27.9%.
The housing market in St. Louis and Kansas City is booming, with low inventory and rising prices. In St. Louis, the median home listing price is $200,000, and homes spend an average of 20 days on the market. In Kansas City, the average home listing price is $236,000, and homes spend an average of 19 days on the market. Rents have also increased by 14.3%, making Kansas City the second-fastest growing city in the metro area.
The Missouri Homestead Exemption protects up to $15,000 of your home equity from creditors in bankruptcy. So if you’re a Missouri resident facing bankruptcy, this exemption can help keep your home out of the hands of creditors.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your rental payments, Missouri offers assistance through several different programs. If you need help with your mortgage, the state has a program called State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) that can offer some financial assistance.
Retirement planning can be difficult in Missouri, as the average person has saved up only $390,863 for retirement. This may seem like a lot of money, but it is actually less than half of what is needed to retire comfortably in the state. The average person needs $771,000 in savings to retire comfortably in Missouri.
What attracts retirees to Missouri is the state’s low cost of living. Home prices in Missouri are some of the lowest in the nation, and the cost of living is 16.3% below the national average. This makes it an affordable place to live for retirees on a fixed income. And for those who rely on Social Security for at least 90% of their income, Missouri’s low-income tax is an additional bonus.
Missouri has some of the most favorable tax policies for retirees in the country. Social Security income is only partially taxed, and retirement account withdrawals are fully taxed. Public pensions are also fully taxed. This makes Missouri an attractive state for retirees looking to stretch their nest eggs.
Missouri Insurance Premiums
Although Missouri operates under a fault-based system for car accidents, retirees may still be hesitant to retire in the state due to high insurance premiums. The pure comparative fault system is used by insurance companies and in lawsuits to determine the level or percentage of fault each party has in an accident. This can result in fairly high auto insurance premiums in Missouri, averaging $1,895.
Missouri is one of the most expensive states in the country for both home and health insurance. The average annual premium for home insurance in Missouri is $2,377, which is significantly higher than the national average. Health insurance premiums in Missouri are also among the highest in the nation, at an average of $6,572 per year.
Debt relief options for Missouri
One way to get out of debt is to consolidate all your debts into one low-interest loan. This can be a good option for Missouri residents who have good credit scores and need to pay off credit card debt and other non-secured debts. By consolidating your debts, you will have one monthly payment instead of multiple payments, which can help you get out of debt faster.
Home Equity Loans and HELOCs
If you’re a homeowner in Missouri, you may be able to get a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC). These loans are based on the equity you have in your home. With property values increasing rapidly in many areas, many residents have built up substantial equity in their homes. Taking out a home equity loan can help you pay off credit cards and other debts, but it’s important to remember that if you can’t make the payments, you could lose your home to foreclosure.
There are many ways to get out of debt, and credit counseling can help you identify the best option for your situation. A certified credit counselor will provide a confidential debt and budget evaluation, and then recommend a course of action that meets your needs and goals. Contact a credit counseling service today to get started on the road to financial freedom.
Debt Management Program
If you’re struggling with debt in Missouri, bankruptcy may not be the best option. A debt management program can help you repay what you owe and avoid credit damage. With an average of 36-60 payments, qualifying can get out of debt.
Missourians have another option for dealing with overwhelming debt: debt settlement. With debt settlement, you or a debt settlement company negotiate with your creditors to pay them a portion of what is owed. This will damage your credit rating because you are not paying the full amount owed, and late payments will hurt your credit rating for seven years. However, this can be an excellent program for Missouri residents with overwhelming debt, as it can help you avoid bankruptcy.
Missouri Unemployment Overpayments: State Demands People Pay Up : NPR