Maine Debt Relief
17 MIN READ
Published April 10, 2023 | Updated November 29, 2023
In a Nutshell
Maine is located in the New England region and is famous for its lobsters, rocky coastline, and participation in the Revolutionary War. This state is also famous for its high cost of living, exceeding the national average by 1.05 times and ranking as the 16th most expensive state to live in.
As a result, residents of the Pine Tree State can easily fall into debt as they try to meet high living costs. In this article, we’ll discuss Maine’s debt relief options, the various types of debt to get relief from in the state, as well as key financial hardship resources.
Maine's Economic Picture
Maine’s GDP grew to $62.7 billion in 2022. The gross state product growth rate is 1.21, overperforming the national rate of 0.19%. The leading industries in terms of revenue include Life Insurance & Annuities, contributing $10.5 billion, Hospitals with $8.4 billion, and gas stations with convenience stores totaling $6.1 billion.
The largest employment sectors are the state of Maine, with 30,000 employments and a 4.5% growth rate; Maine Health Services, with 20,751 employments and a growth rate of 3.1%; and Hannaford Bros. Co., LLC, with 8,751 employments and a growth rate of 1.3%.
How Does Debt Relief Work in Maine?
Maine debt relief involves finding different solutions that aim to achieve financial freedom. These solutions are administered with the help of non-profit organizations, debt relief companies, and federal and state-funded agencies.
These entities negotiate with lenders and debt collectors for reduced interest rates, lower monthly payments, waiver on penalty fees, and debt reduction or forgiveness. All these efforts help you get a fresh start away from debt.
Maine Debt and Finance Statistics
The following debt and finance statistics are specific to the state of Maine:
Average Consumer Debt
The average consumer debt in Maine increased to $84,268 between 2022 and 2021. This 3.4% increase is largely due to the overall increase in personal debts resulting from high-interest rates and cost of living.
Credit Card Debt
Maine residents carry an average credit card debt of $4,913, well below the national average of $5,589. The nation carries a staggering $756 billion in credit card debt, with Maine residents struggling to keep up with higher annual percentage rates (APRs) from credit card companies.
Auto Loan Debt
The U.S. has a car ownership rate of 3.66%, while 93.2% of households in Maine have access to at least one car. This suggests an uptrend in the car market despite the increased car prices exacerbated by supply chain constraints and high-interest rates.
Auto loan borrowers in Maine have an average debt of $18,824. This represents the biggest jump in auto loan debt across the country by 7.8% from the previous year’s average.
In the Pine Tree State, the average monthly car loan for new cars is $519, and $322 for used cars.
Nationally, mortgages were the biggest contributor to consumer debt, as they increased by nearly $1 trillion in 2022.
Maine residents have encountered the same phenomenon, as home values increased exponentially while interest rates continue to rise. In May of 2023, the average Maine home value sat at $373,241.
Student Loan Debt
About 33.6% of Maine residents have graduated with a bachelor's degree or higher. Out of this, 187,100 of them are student borrowers with an average student loan debt of $33,137.
The total student loan debt owed by the residents of Maine is $6.2 billion, with 55.5% of borrowers below 35 years.
Household debt increased by $394 billion in Q4 of 2022 as young debtors struggled with auto loan and credit card payments in America.
The state’s residents also witnessed a shift in household debt as they had a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 1.708. Such a DTI implies that residents spend more than half of their incomes paying off debt. This often results in a never-ending cycle that takes relief help to break.
Bankruptcy filings in the state have been on a 10-year downward trend since 2010, with just 534 cases filed in 2022.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings were the highest at 409 cases. This highlights the need for debt relief as residents who file for Chapter 7 often have a low income with debt balances discharged once nonexempt properties are liquidated to pay off debt.
In 2022, Maine recorded just 108 Chapter 13 filings. Residents with an income above the median income typically file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where they are required to submit a repayment plan and keep all properties as liquidation isn’t necessary.
The remaining 17 cases were from Chapter 11 bankruptcies, which are used by business entities.
Average Income and Employment
Maine has a population of 1.38 million and an employment-to-population ratio of 56.3%, which is below the national’s ratio of 60.2%.
Another bright note in Maine's workforce is that unemployment remains low, at 2.4% as of May 2023.
The median household income in the Pine Tree State is $63,182, while the per capita household income is $36,171. In Main, 11.5% of residents live in poverty.
Your FICO score is a crucial aspect of determining credit scores, creditworthiness, and the cost of accessing loans. The average FICO score in Maine increased by 1 point to 728 in 2022, indicating that even through the pandemic, consumers found alternative ways to manage their debts.
Generally, 728 is a good credit score for accessing lower-interest loans. With the national average FICO score at 714, this is a strong showing for Maine residents.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the annual averages in identity theft reports in Maine increased by 85.39%, ranking it 4th countrywide.
However, the number of identity theft in the state remained low at 167 cases per 100K residents ranking the state 39th countrywide.
Banking and Tax Info
There are currently 23 banking institutions in Maine with total assets worth over $41 billion. The largest financial market is in Portland, with total deposits topping $20 billion.
The graduated individual income tax ranges from 5.8% to 7.15%, while the corporate income tax rate ranges from 3.5% to 8.93%. The state’s sales tax rate is 5.5%, and residents aren’t taxed a local sales tax.
An excise tax is levied on cigarettes and gasoline at thirty cents per gallon of gasoline and $2 per 20 packs of cigarettes. The property tax rate in the state is 1.24% of the owner’s home value. Property owners in Maine enjoy a $25,000 tax exemption.
Internal Debt Statistics from 2022
TurboDebt is a reputable debt relief company that helps Maine residents qualify for debt relief options. In 2022, we worked with 365 clients, enrolling 147 in our debt relief program. The total enrolled debt was $3,543,340, and the average client enrolled debt was $24,104.
Top Types of Debt To Get Relief From In Maine
While TurboDebt accepts many forms of unsecured debts, we often see a majority of Maine residents qualify with the following top types of debt:
Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is an unsecured debt that attracts high-interest fees and late payment charges, making it difficult to clear the debt. With an average credit card debt of over $4,000, many Maine residents find themselves in a hard place financially and have to seek help from a certified debt relief company to escape debts from credit card accounts.
TurboDebt has received thousands of positive reviews from clients who are now debt-free. We offer debt relief solutions to residents of Maine struggling with heavy financial burdens. Contact us today for a free consultation with our professional team.
Since Maine isn’t a community property state, debts and assets aren’t divided equally. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t end up with divorce debt. A divorce judge may decide to divide your marital debt based on income and custody of children, resulting in divorce debt.
You can also accumulate divorce debt from hefty legal fees and alimony. If you find yourself in such a situation, you can benefit from Maine’s debt relief options to clear your divorce debt or get financial assistance from the state’s resource programs to ease the financial burden of divorce.
A high corporate income tax in Maine makes it harder for small businesses to realize their ROIs. For small business owners, this can become a tough situation when they’ve got limited capital that’s being eaten up quickly by the overhead costs of doing business. Many of them end up securing business loans, which results in business debt.
Instead of winding down your business operations, consider getting reputable help from TurboDebt’s relief program and strategic planning services.
In Maine, 7.3% of residents lack medical insurance despite the state's MaineCare program. The program assists residents with low incomes, disabilities, or those living with someone with a disability, blindness, younger than 18 years and pregnant, and above 65+ years to access insurance coverage.
Such a financial situation has led to residents owing a mean medical bill balance of $3,035. Of this amount, 16.94% is in collections. This often leads to limited access to quality medical care and increased medical bills for financially struggling residents with chronic illnesses or lack of insurance coverage.
Maine medical debt relief plans can assist you in clearing your outstanding balances and ease access to quality medical care.
Due to the difference in mortgage prices and income, most homeowners need to catch up on their average monthly mortgage payments. This financial situation is tougher in Portland, where the average home values have soared to $520,352 in the past year, resulting in high interest rates for new homeowners.
TurboDebt's Maine debt relief program is here to help ensure that you overcome any foreclosure risks.
Retirees who want to retire and enjoy Maine’s beautiful coastline and expansive forests need around $1.01 million to do so comfortably. Although this is 3.2% below the national average, it can be difficult for retirees living on a fixed income.
Whether you’re working with certified credit counselors or our own TurboDebt experts, know that there’s a debt management plan to help you get rid of retirement debt.
Maine Debt Relief Options
Residents looking to discharge outstanding balances can benefit from the following effective debt relief solutions in the state:
Debt Management Programs
Debt management programs (DMPs) are facilitated by nonprofit credit counselors who help you eliminate unsecured debt like credit cards. They assist you in creating a debt management plan based on your income and the amount you owe creditors.
For DMPs to work, you typically close your existing credit cards and commit to making monthly payments to a savings account. Creditors will be paid off from the savings account in three to five years under this debt relief option.
Debt Consolidation Loans
Debt consolidation loans involve taking a larger lower-interest-rate loan to clear your smaller loans. This debt relief solution eliminates the multiple high-interest fees you could have paid if you didn’t consolidate your loans.
You can also benefit from lower monthly payments as a result of lower interest rates from your consolidation loan. Some debt consolidation loans offer a 0% interest rate for a limited timeframe. This debt relief option works best for residents with a good credit score.
Debt settlement plans are debt relief options that offer creditors an alternative to borrowers defaulting on their loans. In this debt relief solution, third-party debt relief companies negotiate for a reduced payment of your loan.
Once you enroll in a debt settlement program, you'll stop paying your lenders and instead provide a monthly payment to the settlement company. After you've saved enough, the debt relief organization then negotiates with your creditors, saving you up to 50% of what you owe.
Debt settlement companies do charge fees for negotiating and administering your account based on the total debt you enroll. However, you can often use this option to become debt-free in as little as 24 months.
Credit counseling allows you to take control of your financial lifestyle by empowering you with debt and money management, budgeting, and financial education materials.
You'll work with a certified credit counselor who can help you determine a debt management plan based on your income and expenses. Certified credit counselors can also help you understand your credit report, as you gain access to the data for free when you work with a credit counseling agency.
Maine residents with extremely low incomes who are in tight financial situations can access this debt relief option from nonprofit credit counselors at no cost.
Debtors and financial experts often dislike this debt relief option as it impacts your credit report for up to 10 years, limiting your access to loans in the future. However, bankruptcy can discharge or reorganize your debt payments depending on the type of bankruptcy your law firm files on your behalf.
Chapter 7 bankruptcies will liquidate your nonexempt properties to repay your lenders. Debts that aren’t cleared through liquidation are discharged, and you get a fresh start.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcies, debts are reorganized, and you get to repay them in three to five years. This option is for individuals earning a consistent monthly income who can afford to clear their debts without liquidating their assets.
Debt forgiveness entails debt cancellation once you enroll in debt forgiveness programs. Most debt forgiveness programs are administered by state and federal governments, including student loan debt forgiveness programs.
Certain professions also qualify for debt forgiveness. For example, teachers who meet certain qualifications can earn forgiveness on their student loans.
Debt and Financial Hardship Resources
The following resources are here to assist Maine residents in avoiding the harsh effects of debt and financial hardships:
Temporary Assistance Programs
TANF is a cash assistance program for eligible working families and pregnant women. Once you join the program, you may qualify for job training and education.
The General Assistance fund provides residents who can’t meet their basic needs with cash assistance, including paying for household supplies, medical bills, housing arrears, and utility costs.
Higher Opportunity for Pathways to Employment is an educational training program for families that meet the financial requirements and social qualifications.
State Health and Human Services
The SNAP program provides low-income families and residents with monthly stipends to purchase nutritious food, thus avoiding malnutrition.
The SNAP Employment and Training initiative assists SNAP beneficiaries with job training and education so that they find and maintain well-paying jobs.
MaineCare offers free or low-cost medical insurance to residents who meet the program’s financial requirements.
Maine's Disability Determination Services provide medical assistance to qualifying disabled residents.
Maine offers the Child Care Subsidy Program to help to low-income families who need support for children while they work or attend school.
Child support services help lost children in Maine locate their parents and know their parents through paternity tests. It enforces other child support obligations.
Shelters for the Homeless
Emergency Shelters in Maine are supported with funds from the state government to avoid homelessness due to foreclosures or any financial hardship.
Free Transportation Services
MaineCare Transportation Services also offers non-emergency transportation services to eligible residents.
Find Debt Relief in Maine
You can become debt-free with the many options offered to Maine residents. Your biggest task before enrolling in a debt management program is ensuring that the debt relief company is reputable and carries the proper accreditation. Avoid scams by checking reviews from sources like Trustpilot and Google, or check with the Better Business Bureau.
TurboDebt offers expert debt relief services that you can take advantage of now. Contact us today for a free debt relief consultation.