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Keys to a Debt Free Life

Keys to Achieving a Debt-free life infographic

Overcoming the FOUR biggest sources of debt
Average Credit Card Debt
• $16,140 per household
• APR* 13.93% *for cards with a balance
• # of cards 2.24 bankcards, 1.55 store cards
34% of households carry credit card debt
15% of households (35 mm people) roll over more than $2,500 each month
Keys to becoming debt free:
1. Consolidate debt into 1 bill with 0-10% APR
2. Debt management programs can reduce total payments by 30-50% and have you out of debt in 3-5 years
Keys to staying debt free:
1. Only charge what you can pay off completely in 1 billing cycle
2. Only carry balances on low or no interest cards – never store or rewards cards
Average Mortgage Debt
• $155,361 per household
• 30-year fixed loan rate is 4.01%*
• Rate for 5/1 Hybrid ARM = 3.16%* ( *as of 12/03/2015)
Only 1.4 mm of 4 mm projected HAMP modifications have been made

Renters spend 25% of after-tax income on housing costs while homeowners only spend 15%
Keys to becoming debt free:
1. Contact a HUD-certified housing counselor to see if you qualify to refinance thru HAMP
2. Reduce your rate by 0.125% paying off 1 point of your mortgage (1% of the purchase price)
Keys to staying debt free:
1. Set up bi-weekly payments to save over $17,500 in interest charges on avg. traditional mortgage
2. Try to put 20% down to get a traditional fixed-rate mortgage with no mortgage insurance
Average Auto Loan Debt
• New car payment = $482
• APR = $4.56%
• Loan length = 66 mo. new, 62 mo. used
84% of new and 55.2% of used vehicle purchases are done with financing
The average car buyer puts down roughly 15% of the purchase price
Keys to becoming debt free:
1. Shop around for better insurance rates -18% have never done so – then put the savings towards making bigger car payments
2. Consider refinancing – over 14% of auto loans are refi – to reduce interest rates and/or monthly payments
Keys to staying debt free:
1. Set up bi-weekly payments to save on interest charges over the life of the loan
2. Put more money down to get better financing terms and lower monthly payments
Average Student Loan Debt
• Student loan debt = $31,946
• Debt for 2015 grads = over $35,000
71% of Bachelor’s degree recipients have at least 1 student loan
Median monthly income for those with at least a Bachelor’s degree = $1,193
Keys to becoming debt free:
1. Federal student loans can be consolidated using 1 of 5 government programs
2. Public servants can have outstanding loan balances forgiven after 10 years of making payments
Keys to staying debt free:
1. Always apply diligently for scholarships and grants for continuing education
2. Be aware that student loan debt, federal and private, can’t be discharged by bankruptcy


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