The financial picture of most Mississippians has likely changed in the past several years. Some may be in the process of tackling student loans after graduation, while others may be coping with lower-than-expected incomes or the fallout from layoffs during the worst of the recession. However, there is encouraging news on the financial front: the nationwide level of credit card delinquencies is at its lowest point in seven years.
As some De Soto County residents likely know, credit card debt has a unique way of spiraling out of control. Unlike educational debt, one generally doesn't go into credit card debt in the hopes of earning a lucrative income afterwards. Unlike mortgage and automotive debt, credit card debt often involves items that can't be sold for much value if money gets tight. Finally, the easily-accessible piece of plastic sitting in most Mississippians' wallets is all too tempting when cash is not at hand.
One of the most distressing financial challenges can be having one's wages garnished by a creditor or by the government to pay off a debt. If a Mississippi resident accrues a certain number of missed payments on obligations such as child support, student loans or even credit card payments, they may eventually experience garnishment. However, the topic of garnishment can be quite confusing for many who are unfamiliar with state and federal law on the topic.
Being a single parent is almost always financially tougher than making ends meet with a partner. Despite Mississippi's relatively low cost of living, the economy is still far from fully recovered. At the same time, divorces and separations that happen, regardless of economic circumstances, can certainly have an economic impact. Pew Research has noted that there were 8.6 million single mothers who were acting as the sole or primary earner in their families in 2011.
The Great Recession taught Mississippians many things: secure employment is something to be sought-after and appreciated, cars and homes should be affordable in light of one's income and expenses and credit card debt is something to be maintained very carefully. Still, despite the newfound credit lessons related to the recession, some data show that Americans may be getting into credit card debt yet again.
Like other areas of Mississippi, Southaven and De Soto have experienced their fair share of economic uncertainty. Residents are likely grateful for their jobs and the income they provide, but, at the same time, residents know that unforeseen events can always crop-up. One of the first areas often affected by personal financial setbacks is the personal or family vehicle. After a layoff, for instance, all it takes is a couple of missed payments, and one could be dealing with the threat of repossession.
Many Mississippi residents already know that their financial outlook would be brighter without certain debts. Burdens like student loans, auto and home loans and credit card debt can come together to paint a picture of overwhelming debt. Still, while many know that they must pay down debt in order to secure a more stable position, the question is often how, to tackle that debt in a way that helps rather than harms one's credit.
Many young Mississippians have taken advantage of the state's colleges, universities and technical schools to further their education. Students generally attend with the hope of obtaining a well-paying job afterwards, although the uncertain economy has dimmed that hope for some. Faced with staggering student loan balances and insufficient income to repay those balances, many students have defaulted on their loans.
Since the start of the great recession, many Mississippians have struggled to make enough income to cover their expenses. This has been far from easy for many residents though, with an uncertain job market, stagnant wages and a rising cost of living. Many people have had to declare bankruptcy in order to stop garnishment, put an end to creditor harassment, and give themselves a fresh financial start.
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty. Although federal and state governments have focused on eradicating poverty and improving Americans' financial security, financial challenges are still present throughout Mississippi and the rest of the country. A significant portion of the population must try to keep their financial states afloat and avoid situations like garnishment and foreclosure.