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Arkansas Debt Relief Guide

“The Natural State’s” low cost of living, low property taxes, and reasonably priced homes are driving factors for why people call Arkansas home. But much like the rest of the country, home prices are rising as competition stiffens up and inventory declines. Fortunately, unemployment rates are fairly low and Arkansans ranked 37th for consumer credit card debt with an average balance of $4,791.

“Even though Arkansans are handling their credit card balances fairly well, they are still experiencing rising housing prices,” explains Gary Herman, President of Consolidated Credit. “When coupled with the inflation we’re seeing nationwide, it means that people’s budgets are getting squeezed. The best solution is to be completely debt-free with no credit card balances hanging around.”

Consolidated Credit Helps Arkansas Residents Reduce Their Total Credit Card Payments by Up to 50%

Consumer Debt in Arkansas

This chart shows a breakdown of average consumer debt in Arkansas based on the latest Household Debt report from the Federal Reserve.

In 2020, 7,287 Arkansans filed for bankruptcy compared to the previous year’s filing total of 10,676.

Income and employment in Arkansas

Arkansas is a right-to-work state. That means employees cannot be denied employment depending on whether they are affiliated or not affiliated with a union. An employee also cannot be forced to join or leave a union against their will and are not obligated to pay union dues. However, employees are still allowed to enjoy union benefits even if they are not a union member.

Moreover, Arkansas is an employment-at-will state, which means an employer can terminate employment at any given more and for any reason. In the same vein, employees can resign at any given moment and for any reason at all. That basically means an employer and employee do not guarantee they will uphold employment.

Throughout 2020, Arkansas maintained low unemployment rates of around 4.4%. And by January 2022, that percentage dropped to 3.2%, which was almost 1 point below the national average.

Unemployment Benefits: 

  • Minimum per Week: $81
  • Maximum per Week: $451
  • Maximum availability of Benefits: 16 weeks

General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program:
Unemployment insurance

To file a UI claim online:
File unemployment insurance claims

  • 1-844-908-2178
  • 501-682-2121

Job Centers:

Visit CareerOneStop.Com

Visit the Arkansas JobLink website

Banking and taxes in Arkansas

Arkansas has an income tax that ranges between 2% and 5.9% The state also imposes a state sales tax of 6.5%. With the local taxes factored in, the total sales tax rate can range between 6.5% and 12.625%.

Banking is fairly uncommon in Arkansas compared to the rest of the U.S., as 7.1% of Arkansas residents do not have checking or savings accounts.

Arkansas housing market

Arkansas has one of the most affordable housing markets in the country. But much like the rest of the country, housing prices have risen by 21.7% year-over-year. As prices soared, housing inventory dropped by 47.1%. Yet, considering the average U.S. home sells for $388,965, Arkansas’s median price of $233,100 is far more affordable.

A high number of homes (31.8%) have sold above listing price because the housing market is competitive and bidding wars are more common. The capital of Arkansas, Little Rock, has a median home price of $235,000, whereas Bentonville has sky high average listing prices of $925,000 since the northwest is fairly popular. But if you’re drawn to the northwest, you’re better off searching for homes in Fayetteville because you could find a home for half the price ($398,950) of a home in Bentonville.

Arkansas has an unlimited homestead exemption. This allows a homeowner to protect 100% of the value of their primary residence.

  • 65.6% of Arkansans are homeowners
  • Median mortgage payment: $1,071
  • Median rent payment: $745

For those seeking mortgage relief, the state of Arkansas helps through the Arkansas Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). If you are finding it challenging making rental payments, seek assistance through Arkansas’s rental programs.

Talk to a HUD-certified housing counselor to get help with the housing challenges you’re facing

Retirement in Arkansas

Considering the average Arkansan needs about $728,000 to retire comfortable in the state, it’s a little alarming that the average resident only has $345,267 saved. That means the average retiree is $382,733 short of where they need be to live comfortably in retirement.

With affordable property taxes, warm weather and a low cost of living, it’s no surprise people are drawn to Arkansas for retirement. And since the state income tax is fairly average (between 2%-5.9%), people may consider states with no income tax as more appealing. This is especially true when you consider 35% of retirees rely on Social Security for 90% of their income.

Average Arkansas insurance premiums

Arkansas, much like most states in the U.S., operates under a fault-based system for car accidents. That means if you are “at-fault” for causing a collision, you will be responsible for the collision and any other expenses. Auto insurance premiums are fairly high at $1,462.

When it comes to average annual home insurance premiums expect to fork out a hefty $2,405 annually. Similarly, annual health insurance premiums are fairly average at $5,112.

Helpful resources for Arkansas facing hardship

Food Insecurity

RegionFood BankPhone NumberAddress
Fort SmithRiver Valley Regional Food Bank(479) 785-05821617 South Zero Street PO Box 180070 Ft. Smith, AR 72918
JonesboroFood Bank of Northeast Arkansas(870) 932-36633414 One Place, Jonesboro, AR 72404 P.O. Box 2097, Jonesboro, AR 72402
Little RockArkansas Food Bank(501) 565-81214301 W 65th Street, Little Rock AR 72209
Mountain HomeFood Bank of NCA(870) 499-75651042 Highland Circle Mountain Home, AR 72653
SpringdaleNorthwest Arkansas Food Bank(479) 872-87741378 June Self Drive Springdale, AR 72764
TexarkanaHarvest Regional Food Bank(870) 774-12983120 East 19th St, Texarkana, AR 71854

 

Veterans

As of 2019, Wisconsin was home to 197,138 Veterans. These resources are available to help Veterans that are facing unemployment, homelessness, and other hardships.

The Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs
National crisis hotline: (800) 273-8255
Florida Veterans Support Line: (501) 683-2382
Headquarters:
501 Woodlane Drive, Suite 401N
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
(501) 683-1787

Benefits and Assistance Division
2401 John Ashley Drive
North Little Rock, Arkansas
72114
(501) 683-2382

Find a Veteran service office in your area »

Helpful employment resources for Veterans:

How Consolidated Credit helps Arkansas residents find debt relief

Consolidated Credit has provided free credit counseling services to 1,713 credit users in the state of Arkansas in 2020. Of those, 88 went on to consolidate their debt with our help through a debt management program (the average amount of debt enrolled was $8,042). Those who did not enroll received a free debt analysis, complementary budget evaluation, and were directed to the right solutions for their respective situations.

We’d also like to congratulate the 85 Arkansas residents that got debt-free last year with the help of Consolidated Credit!

Relief options to consider if you’re in debt in Arkansas

If you have good credit and need to pay off credit card debt and other non-secured debts, a debt consolidation loan is an excellent option for you. By having good credit, you can refinance your debt at a low-interest rate and enjoy one monthly payment. This will help you get out of debt faster, and you may wind up paying less each month. This is an excellent solution for Arkansan residents with high debt and a good credit score.

Arkansan homeowners may qualify for a home equity loan or a home equity loan of credit, sometimes called a (HELOC). These types of loans use the equity in your home. Due to rapid home value increases, many residents have equity in their homes. The loan allows you to borrow against the equity in your home and pay off credit cards and other debt. This is not a step to take lightly because you could lose your home in foreclosure if you can’t make the payments. If you are considering borrowing against your home, call 1-800-435-2261 to speak with a HUD-certified housing counselor to make sure this is a safe option for you.

Consolidated Credit helps Arkansas residents with counseling programs that identify the best way to get out of debt after considering their situations. Arkansan residents can get a confidential debt and budget evaluation from a certified credit counselor. Afterward, the counselor will go over the available options and which course of action best meets a person’s needs and goals.

In Arkansas, as in other states, it’s best to avoid bankruptcy. If you can afford to repay all that you owe to avoid credit damage but can’t do it on your own, a debt management program can help. You enroll through a credit counseling agency. The agency will work with your creditors to reduce or eliminate interest and work out a payment schedule. Qualifying Arkansan can get out of debt in 36-60 payments, on average.

Another option for Arkansas residents is debt settlement. With debt settlement, you settle your debt independently or with the help of a debt settlement company. In this program, you agree to pay your creditors a portion of what is owed. This will damage your credit rating because you are not paying on the terms you first agreed to. Late payments, which are often part of this program, will hurt your credit rating for seven years. Even with those negatives, this can be an excellent program for Arkansan residents with overwhelming debt. It can help you avoid bankruptcy.

If you’re curious how we can help you, below, you will find a few case studies from clients that we’ve helped in Arkansas. If you’re facing challenges with debt, call us at (844) 276-1544 to receive a free debt and budget evaluation from a certified credit counselor.

Ready to solve your problems with debt? Talk to a certified credit counselor for free to find the best way to get out of debt for you.

Case Study

Connie from North Little Rock, AR

“My credit counselor was wonderful and every customer service rep I spoke to was kind and patient. ”

Where she started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $13,415.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $7,634.05
  • Time to payoff: 14 years
  • Total monthly payments: $525.80
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 7.50%
  • Total interest charges: $2,268.04
  • Time to payoff: 4 years, 7 months
  • Total monthly payment: $284.00
Time Saved

9 years, 5 months

Monthly Savings

$241.80

Interest Saved

$5,366.01

Want to know if Consolidated Credit can help you, too? Get a free, confidential debt and budget analysis now.