United States Virgin Islands Debt Relief

Higher than the national average cost of living, lower than average income and destructive natural disasters make debt-free living difficult for many residents of the US Virgin Islands.

It’s easy to get into debt and tricky to get out, especially without assistance. Fortunately, TurboDebt is a debt relief company offering several options to help Virgin Islands residents address their debt. Whether it be credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, or other debts, we understand the importance of tailored debt relief options for the US Virgin Islands.

On average last year, we saved our clients 46% of their total debt enrolled with us before fees. Get in touch today to see how much we might be able to save you, or read on to find key debt relief information, options, and financial hardship resources.

Economic Overview of the US Virgin Islands

This northern Mariana Islands is an incorporated territory of the US in the Caribbean. It follows the law of the US but not in all respects. It has a tiny population of 103,000, with 75% being black.

With 3,000,000 tourists annually, tourism and trade are the main drivers of the economy, employing half the labor population and contributing about 60% of the GDP.

The average household income is $40,408, lower than the united states national average of $67,000. The US Virgin Islands is the fifth most expensive place to live in the US. The average cost of living for one person is $2,454, which is 1.22 times higher than the national average.

Major recent economic hits include the closing of the Hovensa oil refinery, hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020. All of these have contributed to higher public and personal debt, slowed economic development, and a financial hardship.

In the wake of all these, Governor Bryan has been left rallying to stave off bankruptcy.

How does Debt Relief Work in the US Virgin Islands?

Debt relief in the Virgin Islands works through efforts of the local government, the US government, and private initiatives.

The local government helps by increasing investment in social initiatives and policies to reduce interest rates. The US government provides relief funds after significant catastrophes to help people improve their financial situation.

The US also subsidizes the cost of living through initiatives like SNAP.

The private initiative involves non-profit and for-profit debt relief companies like TurboDebt. These organizations offer various debt relief programs in the Virgin Islands personalized with effective debt payment options.

Debt and Finance Statistics in the US Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands has a tiny population and sometimes is left out of national surveys and reports. Therefore, some vital data is lacking.

However, based on our research, here are the available details on different aspects of public debt and finance in the US Virgin Islands:

Student Loan Debt

The cost of college education in the Virgin Islands includes tuition, accommodation, transport, stationary and other costs.

Many students receive financial aid through grants and scholarships from the local and federal government, the institution, and other private organizations. On average, a first-year University of the Virgin Islands student may receive up to $7,644.

Student loans cover whatever is outstanding. On average, a student graduates with $8,500 in student loan debt. About 53% of the loans are owed to the federal government, with the rest to financial institutions.

The Biden administration has been working on forgiving some student debt to give young people a chance to begin life on a secure financial footing, however as of this writing the relief is still hung up in court.

Mortgage Debt

The average house costs $285,000 in the Virgin Islands, which is higher than on the US mainland and in Puerto Rico. On the territory itself, houses are most expensive in St. John’s and cheapest in St. Croix. St. Thomas lies on the mid-range.

Construction follows the same trend, and coupled with an undesirable relationship between mortgage rates and average income means that houses are unaffordable.

Average Household Debt

There are no statistics on household debt for the USVI. However, 2015 statistics for neighboring Puerto Rico based on 125,000 households shows a total debt of nearly $60 billion.

Per household, this comes to an average of $480,000. The debt includes mortgage, auto loans, student loans, and credit card debt. Mortgage debt takes the most significant portion.

Both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are insular U.S. territories, their economies rely on tourism, and they have high poverty rates. However, Puerto Rico has a much larger diversified economy.


Bankruptcies are filed in the District Court of the Virgin Islands with an appeal to the US Court of Appeal of the third circuit.

There is a lack of bankruptcy data specific to the Virgin Islands. However, nationwide, most bankruptcies for consumer debt are for people who earn less than $2,900 per month, which is higher than in the Virgin Islands.

Average Income and Employment

Employees in the Virgin Islands earn an average of $2,700 monthly, which comes to $32,400 annually. The lowest salary is $680, while the highest is $12,000. The minimum wage is $10, which is higher than the $7 nationally.

The median salary is $2,370. 75% earn $3,590, while the lower quartile earns $1,710. Further, the more experience one gets, the higher their income.

The unemployment rate for 2021 was 13.7%. Total non-farm employment was 35,000 workers, which accounted for about 50% of the labor force.

Government (10,000), leisure and hospitality (6,300), professional and business services (2,900), and education and health services (2,100) together account for three-fifths of all employment.

Credit Scores

The Virgin Islands has an average credit score of 676, which is only 6 points above the rating of 'good' and is below the national score of 698.

FICO calculates the scores based on several historical factors to determine credit risk. The higher the score, the likelier you will get a loan at favorable terms.

Identity Theft

Identity theft usually involves another person using your identity to commit a crime or claim some unwarranted financial benefits and is a crime under the Virgin Islands' criminal law.

You must be vigilant against identity theft as it can cause you financial loss, make you liable for financial commitments you did not make, or put you in trouble with the law.

Identity theft may also affect your credit score, especially if the thief took out a loan they defaulted on.

Banking and Tax Information

The Virgin Islands use the US dollar. There are at least three major banks – First Bank, Banco Popular, and Scotia Bank, as well as several smaller banks.

You can open a bank account in person and online; you only need valid identification and a deposit.

In the Virgin Islands, you file income tax returns with the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue rather than the IRS. However, the tax system runs on the same laws as the US.

Nonetheless, you can only file for the following tax credits upon confirmation with the BIV:

  • Earned income credit
  • Additional child tax credit
  • Credit for other dependents
  • American opportunity tax credit.

How TurboDebt Helped the US Virgin Islands With Debt Relief in 2022

TurboDebt had 33 total clients in the US Virgin Islands in 2022. Seventeen of those individuals enrolled in our debt relief program, leading to a total enrolled debt of $515,853. This constituted an average client enrolled debt of $30,344.

How TurboDebt Helped USVI Residents With Debt Relief Last Year

Top Types of Debt to Get Relief From in the US Virgin Islands

TurboDebt offers tailored debt relief programs in the Virgin Islands, most often helping with the following top types of debt:

Credit Card Debt:

Major credit card companies in the Virgin Islands include Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and local cards like Premia.

Credit card debt in the Virgin Islands includes principal, interest, and penalties for various infractions. The interest depends partly on your credit report and may be as high as 30% as it is also an unsecured debt.

Because of low incomes and frequent economic upsets, delinquency on credit card is not uncommon.

TurboDebt offers the Virgin Islands credit card debt relief through an effective plan. We can help you renegotiate a revised payment plan, that encompasses new interest rates and more manageable monthly payments to help you become debt-free quicker.

Divorce Debt

Divorce settlement is one of the top causes that may lead to debt in the Virgin Islands. Coupled with the legal costs, settling marriage debts and the expenses of starting over can put personal finances in disarray.

Virgin Island divorce debt relief services include customized programs that help lead to a debt-free life. A reputable debt relief company like TurboDebt will provide respite as you pick up the pieces of your life.

Business Debt

Sometimes businesses in the Virgin Islands cannot avoid crushing debt. From paying wages, purchasing inventory, and financing growth, they also must contend with possible disastrous hurricanes.

Many small businesses cannot take care of all this without debt. Hurricanes mean they have to default on their loans or take on more credit. Without help, many go under.

However, TurboDebt offers Virgin Islands business owners debt relief programs so long as they meet certain requirements. Our quick and easy form will help you understand if we can help with your unique bussiness debt situation.

Medical Debt

Many of the Virgin Islands' low earners cannot afford health care. Even where there is a cover, it is sometimes inadequate, forcing them into debt. If they are already in debt, the situation becomes dire.

Virgin Island medical debt relief options include a medical credit card (that you can consolidate), debt reduction, settlement, debt forgiveness, or taking on an unsecured loan. A debt relief company can advise you on the best debt relief option and even negotiate friendly terms in certain cases.

Homeowner Debt

Homes cost more in the Virgin Islands than in the mainland US. They are also the likely victims of destructive hurricanes. As such, many homeowners have to deal with repair costs on top of the regular mortgage payments.

Local and federal interventions provide some relief, but sometimes this is inadequate. The only alternative to losing the home usually is taking on more debt, making homeowner debt one of the most significant portions of personal debt.

TurboDebt can advise on the best debt relief options if you’re having trouble with your mortgage or a home related debt.

Retirement Debt

Retirement debt is typically harder to get out of because the person who incurs it usually has an income unlikely to increase. Upon retirement, one's income reduces while the living costs increase, especially concerning medical expenses.

Virgin Island retirement debt relief usually involves options that will allow you to become debt-free in the shortest amount of time.

Options for Debt Relief in the US Virgin Islands

Here are some of the best and most effective debt relief options available to the residents of the Virgin Islands:

Debt Management Programs

A lot of debt delinquency usually arises from an inability to track your payments because there are so many. Numerous payments may also expose you to several different interest rates, which may be more expensive.

The most effective form of debt management programs usually help you renegotiate with your creditors to consolidate your debts so that you can make one monthly payment at a reduced interest rate. Making a single payment is easier and cheaper.

Usually, you have to commit to making the monthly payment and to take no more debt. This option is ideal for those overwhelmed by their many creditors.

Debt Consolidation Loans

Like debt management programs, debt consolidation loans are ideal for those with many creditors. Here you take out one big loan to pay off numerous smaller loans. This may help you avoid the costs of delinquency.

For instance, if you owed $20,000 to A, $5000 to B, and $5000 to C, you could take out a loan of $30,000, so you only have one payment instead of three.

Consolidated loans may be cheaper and afford breathing space, as most institutions grant a grace period before you begin repaying, or an intro period with 0% interest.

Debt Settlement

One of the most aggressive ways to pay off large sums of debt is through a settlement. You can do this on your own, or enlist the help of an expert company like TurboDebt to negotiate with your creditors to settle for less than you owe them. Many creditors will be willing to forgive up to 50% of your debt rather than risk you defaulting or filing for bankruptcy.

If you owe $20,000 on your credit card bills, you could talk to the credit company to settle for as little as $10,000 before fees, as long as you paid it in one lump sum, or committed to revised monthly payments.

Credit Counseling

Effective debt relief ought to begin with credit counseling. A company like TurboDebt usually begins by evaluating your financial situation before deciding how to proceed.

A credit counseling company helps keep you out of your mess by working out a financial plan that covers your financial obligations with as little debt as possible.

Suppose you cannot afford the cost of a debt relief company; you can resort to a non-profit organization that provides debt counseling. Such organizations have qualified personal finance professionals who will train you in managing your finances.


Bankruptcy gives one a chance to start over again. Typically, when the court declares you bankrupt, it says you cannot repay your debts. Whatever you own is used to pay off what you owe and completely discharge you from the obligation. It does not matter whether everyone is paid off or not.

It is also possible to apply to a court to restructure your debts so that you can pay them off without losing your property. In this case, you are not discharged until you pay off all you owe.

Debt Forgiveness

A creditor may choose to forgive part or the whole of a debt if they deem it worthy. Among the debt you can apply to your creditor to forgive include medical and homeowner debt, especially after a catastrophic event.

Debt and Financial Hardship Resources in US Virgin Islands

Here are some Virgin Island resources that can help you get out of debt and financial hardship:

Temporary Assistance Programs

The Virgin Islands Temporary Assistance to the Needy Families program is run by the Department of Human Services under the official name of the Family Improvement Program.

The program aims to lift residents from financial difficulty by providing working opportunities or cash payments. Recipients can use the money to pay for food, housing, and clothing.

To qualify, you must be a citizen resident in the Virgin Islands, on a Green Card, or a Native American born outside the US. Your income must also be low; you may have dependents under 18 years.

Virgin Islanders may also benefit from the SNAP program sponsored by the federal government. SNAP benefits can only be used to buy designated food products.

State Health and Human Services

The Departments of Human Services and Health run programs to alleviate financial hardship occasioned by health issues.

Medicaid is a comprehensive medical cover the federal government provides to low-income earners in the Virgin Islands. It serves up to 57% of the population.

The State Pharmacy Assisted Program (SPAP) helps residents afford drugs they wouldn't otherwise.

Water is a problem in the Virgin Islands; without government intervention, low income wouldn't afford it. The Low Income Water Assistance helps the less fortunate afford clean water.

Child Care

Both the federal and virgin island governments provide specific relief services for those with kids.

First, having dependent minors qualifies one for higher benefits or prioritization.

The Department of Health Services provides child-specific medical care for free or at subsidized rates. Other than Medicaid, children also enjoy CHIP to extend their medical coverage.

Shelters for the Homeless

The Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority operates emergency houses that can be used by people who have had to leave their homes suddenly.

To qualify, you need to be a victim of domestic violence, be able to pay for utilities, and be represented by a service provider.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Project helped those impacted by COVID pay their rent.

Free Transportation Services

VITRAN operates three bus routes in the Virgin Islands at the affordable fare of $1, discounted to $0.75 for students with ID and seniors. Persons with disability get to ride free.

Conclusion on Finding Debt Relief in the US Virgin Islands

Debt relief in the Virgin Islands begins with a reputable debt relief company. There are many great companies to work with today, but be sure to do your due diligence to avoid scams or poorly rated options.

As one of the most well rated debt relief companies serving the US Virgin Islands, we have a proven track record of success helping individuals work towards a debt-free life.

Contact us today for a free evaluation of your debt situation, and see how much we might be able to save you with our effective debt relief services.