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Maryland Debt Relief Guide

Maryland has always been a leader in innovation and tolerance. The Maryland Toleration Act, which preceded our Nation’s Bill of Rights, recognized Freedom of Religion for most citizens, was signed into law in 1649.[1] Many famous abolitionists came from Maryland, including Frederic Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Home to the first railroad in the US in 1828 and the first telegraph line in 1844, the “Free State” has been a leader in the Nation’s growth.

Today, Maryland continues that same pattern of innovation and tolerance. Maryland led the way in the discovery of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as mapping the human genome.[2]

Maryland voted yes on a referendum for same-sex marriage in 2012, three years before the ruling by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2015. Over 372 years since the toleration act of 1649, the state ranks as the second most tolerant state after Wisconsin.[3]

“The economy in Maryland benefits from its culture of tolerance and innovation, plus its proximity to Washington, DC.” says Gary Herman, President of Consolidated Credit, “But inflation, rising housing costs, and other factors are challenging to your wallet. In a situation like that, you need to keep credit card debt under tight control.”

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

Consumer debt in Maryland

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

In 2019, 17,448 Maryland residents filed for bankruptcy.

Income and employment in Maryland

In 2018 Maryland had the second-highest median household income of any state or territory, after the District of Columbia.[4]

Maryland’s pay rates can be excellent, with an average per capita income of $68,258 and an average median household income of $84,805. The minimum wage of $11.75 per hour is well above the nationwide average of $8.56 per hour.

Industry

Maryland is not a right-to-work state. If there is a union at a workplace, the worker must pay union dues regardless of whether they are a union member.

Biopharma & Life sciences, Federal Government, Cybersecurity & IT, Manufacturing, and Logistics are some of the key industries in the “Free State.”

The state is a frontrunner in health sciences and is home to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and the Biological Defence Center located at Fort Detrick. Manufacturing of advanced equipment used in aerospace and medical concerns also provides well-paying jobs.

Additionally, logistics (transporting goods)  is a significant industry in Maryland, with hubs for FedEx, Amazon, CSX, and many more. Logistics offers many well-paying entry-level jobs. Maryland’s location is within a one-day shipping window for 1/3 of the country, including Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta.

Finally, while shipbuilding is not what it once was, the marine industry still thrives in Maryland. Companies such as Chesapeake Shipbuilding continue to build riverboats and tugboats, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum still teaches the art of building wooden boats.

Unemployment

If you are unemployed in Maryland, you can get unemployment coverage for up to 26 weeks. The maximum each week is $430, and the minimum is $50.

Apply for unemployment benefits in Maryland »

Banking and taxes in Maryland

Maryland residents have an adjustable income tax of 2-5.75% and a sales tax of 6%. Maryland residents enjoy an extended tax holiday that lasts an entire week! The weeklong holiday extends from the Second Sunday in August until the following Saturday. Tax-free items include school uniforms, backpacks used for school, baby supplies, and other practical items.

Maryland residents are also more likely to bank than the average American. The percentage of unbanked residents—those without a checking or savings account stands at just 3.8%.

Maryland was one of the first states to tax Software-as-a-service (SaaS). An example of a SaaS is Microsoft Office 365, where you don’t buy the product but pay a monthly subscription fee.

Maryland housing market

Throughout 2021 the housing market in Maryland has remained competitive. While prices have continued to rise, fewer units are selling. This may indicate a peak in the housing market for the state.

But Maryland is a tale of many states, the affluent eastern half, Baltimore, and the rural west.

The rural west is losing population and hoping to become a part of West Virginia.[5] However, it does have more affordable properties.

Baltimore sees a lot of demand, and areas of the city are undergoing renovation. Many homes that were boarded up are being purchased and restored, which has led to some neighborhoods being revitalized. New residents may help repopulate the city, lower the high poverty rate, and provide needed jobs to inner-city areas.

Because of its proximity, easy access to Washington, DC, and relatively lower pricing, many government workers from the District of Columbia live in Baltimore.

  • 66.9% of Maryland residents are homeowners
  • Average mortgage payment: $1,987
  • Median rent payment: $1,392

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

Retirement in Maryland

Maryland is a challenging place to retire. While Maryland has fantastic cultural offerings and a rich and tolerant history, taxes and living costs are high. You are taxed on your IRA distributions in Maryland, but 401(k) distributions are exempt. Social Security income is not taxed. A public pension is partially taxed, but a private pension is fully taxed. Maryland is also the only state with both an estate and an inheritance tax.

If you’re retired in Maryland, you’ll need around $1,100,000 in assets to retire comfortably in the state. But, the average retirement savings stand at just $458,107. About one in five (21%) elderly households rely on Social Security for at least 90% of their income. The average age for retirement is 65.

Average Maryland insurance premiums

Maryland is a great state for all types of insurance, which is priced at the national average or below it.

The average driver has an auto insurance premium of $1,410 per year in Maryland, on par with the nationwide average.

Homeowner’s insurance rates are below the national average. The average Maryland homeowner’s insurance premium is $1,211 per year.

Health insurance premiums are lower compared to national averages. The annual health insurance premium in Maryland is $4,112.

Helpful resources for Maryland residents facing hardship

Food insecurity

RegionFood BankPhone NumberAddress
BaltimoreMaryland Food Bank410.737.82822200 Halethorpe Farms Road, Baltimore, MD 21227
BaltimoreCommunity Assistance Network, Inc. – Food Distribution Center410.285.4674  7900 E. Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21224
Capital RegionManna Food Center  301.424.1130Gaithersburg 2 Teachers Way Gaithersburg, MD 20877 Germantown 20021 Aircraft Drive
Germantown, MD 20874 Silver Spring 12301 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Capital RegionThe Bowie Interfaith Pantry and Emergency Aid Fund301.262.67652614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 134
Bowie, MD 20715
Capital RegionLaurel Church of Christ Pantry – Food Distribution Center301.490.0777Laurel Church of Christ 7111 Cherry Lane Laurel, MD 20707
Capital RegionFort Washington Food Pantry – Food Distribution Center301.248.42909801 Livingston Road
Fort Washington MD 20744
Central RegionHoward County Food Bank410.313.61859385 Gerwig Lane, Suite J
Columbia, MD 21046
Central RegionElkridge Food Pantry443.492.92095646 Furnace Avenue Elkridge, MD 21075
Central RegionThurmont Food Bank240.288.186510 Frederick Road           Thurmont, MD 21788
Southern RegionICAC-Oxon Hill Food Pantry301.899.8358Saviour’s Lutheran Church
4915 Saint Barnabas Road, Temple Hills, MD
Southern RegionAnne Arundel County Food Bank410.923.4255120 Marbury Drive
Crownsville, MD 21032
Western RegionCity of Frederick Maryland Food Bank301.600.397214 E All Saints Street
Frederick, MD 21701


Veterans

As of 2019, Maryland was home to 365,356 Veterans. These resources are available to help Veterans that are facing unemployment, homelessness, and other hardships.

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs
National crisis hotline: (800) 273-8255
Maryland Veterans Support Line: 877-770-4801
Headquarters:
16 Francis St #4
Annapolis, MD 21401
410 260 3838

Find a Veteran service office in your area »

Helpful employment resources for Veterans:

How Consolidated Credit helps Maryland residents find debt relief

In 2021, Consolidated Credit provided free credit counseling services to 3,958 residents of Maryland. Of those, 208 went on to consolidate their debt with our help through a debt management program  (the average amount of debt enrolled was $13,511). The others received a free debt analysis and complementary budget evaluation, and they were directed to the right solution for their situation to get out of debt as quickly as possible.

We’d also like to congratulate the 196 Maryland residents that got debt-free last year with the help of Consolidated Credit!

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

A debt consolidation loan is an unsecured personal loan that you get to pay off credit cards and other existing debts. You need good credit to qualify for the lowest interest rate possible. That low rate helps lower your total payments so you can get out of debt faster, even though you may pay less each month. So, this is a good solution for Maryland residents with a high credit score.

A home equity loan or home equity loan of credit (HELOC) is a debt solution that’s only available to Maryland homeowners. If you have equity available in your home, you can borrow against that equity and use the funds to pay off your debt. However, this can be a risky option for paying off credit card debt if you are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Home equity lending products put Maryland residents at risk of foreclosure if they 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.

Nonprofit credit counseling services like those provided by Consolidated Credit help Maryland residents identify the best solution for getting out of debt. This is a free service. Maryland residents can get a confidential debt and budget evaluation from a certified credit counselor. Then the counselor will explain options that are available to each person and recommend the best course of action based on an individual’s needs and goals.

If a Maryland consumer cannot get out of debt effectively on their own but has the ability to repay everything they owe to avoid bankruptcy, a debt management program is often the best solution. You enroll in the program through a credit counseling organization. They help you find a monthly payment you can afford and then work with your creditors to reduce or eliminate interest. Qualifying Maryland residents can get out of debt in 36-60 payments.

Debt settlement allows Maryland residents to get out of debt for a percentage of what they owe. You can settle debt on your own and negotiate with individual creditors and collectors or enroll in a debt settlement program to get professional help. This does cause credit damage. Each debt settled will be noted on your credit report for seven years from the date the account first became delinquent. However, it can be a viable debt relief option for avoiding bankruptcy when you are completely overwhelmed with debt.

If you’re curious how we can help you, below you will find a few case studies from clients that we’ve helped in Maryland. 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

Aaron from Rockville, MD

“This is a great service! ”

Where he started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $44,198.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $25,759.74
  • Time to payoff: 14 years
  • Total monthly payments: $1,767.92
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 8.30%
  • Total interest charges: $8,385.72
  • Time to payoff: 4 years, 4 months
  • Total monthly payment: $1,016.00
Time Saved

9 years, 8 months

Monthly Savings

$751.92

Interest Saved

$17,374.02

Case Study

Ana from Olney, MD

“Every phone call has been pleasant and helpful. Thanks! ”

Where she started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $58,363.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $34,385.22
  • Time to payoff: 15 years, 1 month
  • Total monthly payments: $2,334.52
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 8.32%
  • Total interest charges: $12,118.05
  • Time to payoff: 4 years, 7 months
  • Total monthly payment: $1,302.00
Time Saved

10 years, 6 months

Monthly Savings

$1,032.52

Interest Saved

$22,267.17

Case Study

Damon from Columbia, MD

“Consolidated Credit has made it possible for me to take charge of my finances. Not only are my bills getting paid, there is no hassle from my creditors. And the creditors did not put negative remarks on my credit report for consolidating my bills. ”

Where he started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $13,332.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $7,746.20
  • Time to payoff: 13 years, 6 months
  • Total monthly payments: $533.28
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 7.20%
  • Total interest charges: $2,453.91
  • Time to payoff: 4 years, 9 months
  • Total monthly payment: $281.00
Time Saved

8 years, 9 months

Monthly Savings

$252.28

Interest Saved

$5,292.29

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

Sources:

[1] https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/868/maryland-toleration-act-of-1649

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/maryland-plays-an-outsized-role-in-worldwide-hunt-for-a-coronavirus-vaccine/2020/05/03/3b6f2cb8-8bd5-11ea-8ac1-bfb250876b7a_story.html

[3] https://www.ushistory.org/us/25b.asp

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_income

[5] https://chestertownspy.org/2021/09/11/marylands-rural-future-by-dave-harden/

[6] https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219

[7] https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/average-american-debt#average-american-debt-by-state

[8] https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/auto-loan-debt-study/

[9] https://www.dol.gov/

[10] https://www.salestaxinstitute.com/resources/rates

[11] https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/taxes/state-income-tax-rates/https://www.taxadmin.org/

[12] https://www.personalcapital.com/blog/retirement-planning/retirement-savings-by-state/

[13] https://howmuch.net/articles/cost-comfortable-retirement-america

[14] https://www.assetprotectionplanners.com/planning/homestead-exemptions-by-state/

[15] https://www.insure.com/car-insurance/car-insurance-rates.html

[16] https://homeinsurance.com/rates-in-your-state//https://www.thezebra.com/homeowners-insurance/

[17] https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-of-health-insurance

[18] https://windfalldata.com/blog/what-it-takes-to-be-in-the-top-1-of-every-state/

[19] https://apps.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?reqid=70&step=1&acrdn=2