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Report: Florida Among Least-Friendly States for Coping With Student Debt

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Student loan debt is a major problem in Florida. No state is untouched by the problem, of course, but new research by data website WalletHub reveals Florida ranks 40th in the country as one of the worst states for student debt.

Second to mortgages, student loans are the largest part of household debt for Americans. By the end of the first quarter of this year, the amount of outstanding loan balances was $1.19 trillion. That’s according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which notes that figure is a $32 billion increase from the previous quarter and an astonishing $78 billion increase from where it was just a year earlier.

In essence, what this means is that a college degree is no guarantee of financial security.

Success post-college is dependent on a number of factors, and a big part of that, WalletHub contends, is where students choose to go once they graduate. For those who stay or come to Florida, the outlook isn’t as sunny as the state’s moniker would suggest.

Weighing factors such as the average size of debt to the percentage of students with outstanding debt to the share of former students who have loans in default to the rate of unemployment for those between the ages of 25 and 34, Florida is one of the most troubled states. Not only that, our state offers wages that are below average, and it’s a relatively expensive place to live.

Our Miami debt defense attorneys know that over the course of time, this means people have no choice but to hold off on larger purchases. They don’t buy homes as early as their peers. They have an even tougher time saving than most because real estate and rental costs in Florida are especially high. With more of their income tied up in housing costs, they don’t have as much to pay down those debts or save for a home of their own. They often delay getting married or having children. This in turn affects us all because it delays the contributions these individuals would make to the growth of the economy.

In fact, Florida ranks 43rd in the country when it comes to home ownership of young adults.

The problem is so substantial that for the first time in history, the amount of student loan debt is actually higher than credit card debt.

This is all bad news for Florida companies, as there is fierce competition for skilled workers. But new graduates know what they are up against. They recognize the cost of living is substantial and the jobs here don’t pay as much. If they get an offer in a state that’s more attractive, they are more likely to seize that opportunity.

An analysis of state records in 2013 revealed graduates from Florida universities left with an average of $20,300 in debt in the 2012-2013 school year. That was up from $17,800 average for those who graduated in the 2008-2009 school year.

College officials say they have had no choice but to increase tuition in order to help cover the cost of providing an education. Schools are receiving less federal money than they once were.

If you’re battling debt collection in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs Legal for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday at 5 p.m. on “Debt Warriors with Bruce Jacobs and Court Keeley,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.

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