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Drivers with big auto loans might need debt relief

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2019 | Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Firm News

For some people in Florida, owning a vehicle is not a luxury — it is a necessity. Public transportation is not always reliable and many people live in areas not frequently serviced by buses. Those without vehicles often struggle to maintain employment or to find anything that pays a living wage within walking distance. While owning a vehicle is often the key to getting to and from work, the cost of these vehicles could also be financially devastating, leaving some people in need of debt relief.

Crossovers and large SUVs are more popular than ever before, and they also happen to be more expensive than other types of motor vehicles. In 2018, consumers paid on average $35,444 when purchasing new vehicles. Not only is this significantly more than consumers paid in the past, but they are also extending the terms of their loans. The average 2018 consumer took out a loan for 69 months, shelling out around $551 per month. This is a 10 percent increase from 2016.

The average household income in America was $61, 858 in 2018. The average 2018 car loan eats up approximately 11 percent of that income annually. This can be an extreme burden for those earning the average income as well as those earning less or more, and the outcome is not necessarily looking good. Not only has auto loan debt increased over 75 percent during the last 10 years, but 2019 is set to be the most expensive in a decade for auto loans.

While buying used and otherwise cheaper vehicles can be helpful, it is not a solution to the overwhelming auto loan debt that many people in Florida are currently struggling with. Debt relief through either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be helpful, though. Personal bankruptcy gives debtors the ability to deal with and discharge their debts, which can help them secure better futures for themselves.

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