A new study is out that shows that the Orlando metro area ranks tenth in the nation for consumer debt. The average central Florida consumer carries an incredible $25,320 in debt, which is $541 more than the national average. This study included credit card debt, auto loans, and personal loans, but not real estate mortgages.
The study also shows that this personal debt has doubled in the last decade, and that the it looks to only increase in the coming years. Those of us here in central Florida shouldn't feel too bad about these figures as the national average of debt stands at $24,775.
Additionally, the study says that nationally people are starting to pull back on their credit card debt and that many are trying to address their debt issues through more careful money management. Experts are saying that while these efforts are encouraging, many will still struggle as unemployment remains high and the economy is sluggish to recover.
The bottom line is that debt and bankruptcy go together like love and marriage. One eventually leads to the other, and unless you are diligent in addressing your debt when you can afford to do so then a bankruptcy is a real possibility. I know our local economy is not doing so well and that many are juggling accounts and are just barley able to make ends meet, but for those who are doing better than others its best to avoid problems before they come up.
The best way to look at central Florida's situation is at least we are not leading the nation in this category. We may be one of the top areas in the country when it comes to foreclosures and over valued homes, but we are just barely in the top ten when it comes to consumer debt. We are in a better position than Seattle, which leads the nation with an average of $26,646 which is almost $2,000 more than the national average, we are only $541 off the average. Normally we can't say "it could always be worse", but in this instance we can say it and point to Seattle.