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New Mexico Debt Relief Guide

New Mexico is known as the “Land of Enchantment” for its captivating culture, cuisine, scenery and architecture. Tourism and military are two of the largest industries in the state, although the oil and gas industry accounts for a large part of the state’s economy, as New Mexico is the third-largest producer of crude oil and natural gases in the country. Unfortunately for New Mexico, the pandemic heavily affected their economy in 2020 as consumers raked in average credit card balances of $5,978.

“New Mexico is facing unemployment rates higher than national averages, and higher debt levels as a result,” says Gary Herman, president of Consolidated Credit. “New Mexico residents need to focus on paying down credit card debt and shoring up savings to ensure they can maintain financial stability in the face of this economic uncertainty.”

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

Consumer debt in New Mexico

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

In 2020, 2,365 New Mexicans filed for bankruptcy compared to the previous year’s filing total of 3,046.

Income and employment in New Mexico

Since New Mexico is an employment-at-will state this means that an employer may terminate an employee for any reason or even no reason at all, and vice versa for the employee. However, there are a few exceptions:

Breach of Contract: Under New Mexico law, when an employee enters oral or written employment contracts they are no longer at-will employees. Unless the contract states otherwise, the employee may not be terminated at any time or for any reason.

Discrimination: Employers may not terminate employee relationships based on an employee’s skin tone, race, country of origin, marital status, pregnancy status, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.

Retaliation: Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees should an employee file a complaint against the employer. For example: If an employee files a complaint because they feel they were not promoted because of their race or sexual orientation, the employers may not terminate the employee for filing the complaint.

Public Policy: A public policy exemption prevents employers from terminating employees for reasons society would deem unjust. Therefore, lawmakers review state statutes to determine what would be “considered public policy.” For example: Under New Mexico law, employees may seek workers compensation, which is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment; they may not be fired for claiming workers comp.

New Mexico held a high unemployment rate of 7.9 percent in 2020, and by July 2021 the percentage dropped to a 7.2 percent (1.8 percent above the national rate for the month). Currently, New Mexico ties for 46th place in unemployment with two other states (Connecticut and New Jersey).

Apply for unemployment benefits in New Mexico »

Banking and taxes in New Mexico

New Mexico has an income tax rate that ranges between 1.7-5.9% and a state sales tax of 5.13%. However, New Mexico has a Gross Receipts Tax (GRT), which is based on total revenue rather than total sales. Although sellers or service providers pay Gross Receipts Tax (GRT), it is common practice for businesses to pass the GRT onto the purchaser by either stating it on the invoice or by combining tax with the selling price of the good or service.

The Gross Receipts Tax rate ranges from 5.12% to 9.44% and varies throughout the state of New Mexico because the total GRT rate combines state, county and, when applicable, municipality taxes based on the location of the business.

New Mexico residents are seemingly less likely to bank compared to the average American with the percentage of residents without a checking or savings account currently sitting at 8.7%.

New Mexico housing market

As the most populous county in New Mexico, Bernalillo County retains 678,701 residents. Bernalillo County is home to Albuquerque, the most populous city in the state. For comparison, Santa Fe County, the third-largest county and home to the capital of New Mexico, has a population of 150,056.

Fun fact: Breaking Bad, an AMC television drama starring Bryan Cranston, was shot in Albuquerque. As a result, the city has become somewhat of a tourist spot for diehard fans of the show.

Furthermore, with an influx of remote work opportunities on the rise since the start of the pandemic, it is no surprise more people are relocating to New Mexico. Along with remote work, high housing costs in massive labor markets in metropolitan cities like Manhattan and San Francisco has resulted in individuals taking advantage of more affordable housing markets. The smaller populations, large open spaces, and how New Mexico has responded to COVID-19 are key factors in why people choose to relocate.

Because of high demand, Bernalillo County has seen a $25,000 spike in housing prices since January 2021 with houses increasing in cost and selling for a median price of $275,000 in August 2021. Moreover, home sales increased from 712 homes sold in January 2021 to 7,166 homes sold by August 2021.

An influx of out-of-towners in New Mexico, who can make larger offers for homes, has caused Albuquerque to face housing shortages. As a result, rental occupied households have increased to 42 percent of inhabited housing units. In turn, due to increased demand and fewer vacancies available, low-income residents are struggling to meet expensive rental rates.

New Mexico offers a homestead exemption of $60,000.

  • 7% of New Mexicans are homeowners
  • Median mortgage payment: $1,262
  • Median rent payment: $844

For renters who are finding it challenging making rental payments, refer to New Mexico’s emergency rental assistance program for support. And for those seeking mortgage relief, New Mexico offers a lending hand through their “Keep Your Home” program.

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

Retirement in New Mexico

With a population of just over two million and temperate weather year-round, New Mexico is a fitting place for retirement. Americans are relocating from more populous states like New York and California, especially during the pandemic. A rich culture – New Mexico has a unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican influences making for incredible cuisine — and a low cost of living (3.1% less than the national average), retiring in New Mexico is highly appealing.

Conversely, the average New Mexican has $412,989 saved for retirement. Although this may seem like a large sum, the average New Mexican needs to have saved about twice that amount ($883,000) to retire comfortably in the state. And with 27 percent of retirees relying on social security for at least 90 percent of their income, it is unsurprising to see residents relocating to more affordable areas. Therefore, residents of metropolitan areas like Albuquerque and Santa Fe are moving to more affordable neighboring cities. Or they are venturing off to Mexico where the US dollar holds more weight compared to the Mexican peso.

Average New Mexico insurance premiums

As is the case with most states across the U.S., New Mexico operates under a fault-based system for car insurance. Drivers pay an average of $1,391 annually for auto insurance premiums. That makes it important for injury and property damage victims to have proof of liability to be compensated for their losses.

New Mexico’s fault-based accident system allows you to seek compensation in three ways:

  • You can file a claim with your insurer who then proceeds against the at-fault party
  • You may file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance provider
  • Or you are able to institute a car accident lawsuit for damages in court

Even though average annual home insurance premiums are relatively reasonable at $1,661, average health insurance premiums remain fairly high at $4,196 annually.

Helpful resources for New Mexicans facing hardship

Food Insecurity

City/RegionFood BankPhone NumberAddress
AlbuquerqueRoadrunner Food Bank505.247.20525840 Office Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109
ClovisFood Bank of Eastern New Mexico575.763.61302217 East Brady St., Clovis, NM 88101
FarmingtonECHO Inc.505.325.8222401 S. Commercial, Farmington, NM 87401
GallupThe Community Pantry505.726.80681130 E. Hasler Valley Road, Gallup, NM 87305
Santa FeThe Food Depot505.471.16331222 A Siler Rd., Santa Fe, NM 87507

Veterans

As of 2019, New Mexico was home to 144,977 Veterans. These resources are available to help Veterans that are facing unemployment, homelessness, and other hardships.

To file a new claim, speak with a customer service representative, or to make weekly certifications may be done through the toll-free number 1-877-NM-4-MY-UI (1-877-664-6984).

https://www.dws.state.nm.us/en-us/Office-Locations

http://www.nmdvs.org/Facilities in New Mexico – Locations (va.gov)

https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/fac_list_by_state.cfm?State=NM&dnum=All

Helpful employment resources for Veterans:

How Consolidated Credit helps New Mexico residents find debt relief

In 2021, Consolidated Credit provided free credit counseling to 1,098 New Mexico residents. Of those, 43 went on to consolidate their debt with our help through a debt management program (the average amount of debt enrolled was $9,786). 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 47 New Mexico residents that got debt-free last year with the help of Consolidated Credit!

Relief options to consider if you’re in debt in New Mexico

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’ll get a low-interest rate for a loan that refinances all of your debt with 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 New Mexico residents with high debt and a good credit score.

New Mexican 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 New Mexico residents with counseling programs that identify the best way to get out of debt after considering their situations. New Mexico 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 New Mexico, 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 New Mexicans can get out of debt in 36-60 payments, on average.

Another option for New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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 New Mexico. 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.

Don’t let high interest rate credit card debt hold you back! Talk to a certified credit counselor to understand your options for debt relief

Case Study

Patricia from Red Oak, IA

“Thank God for this service. Being a single Mom plus putting 3 children through college left me in a financial quagmire that I thought I would never be free of. Now I have one payment left. ”

Where she started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $52,321.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $30,507.29
  • Time to payoff: 14 years, 10 months
  • Total monthly payments: $2,092.84
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 9.74%
  • Total interest charges: $10,463.96
  • Time to payoff: 3 years, 11 months
  • Total monthly payment: $1,339.00
Time Saved

10 years, 11 months

Monthly Savings

$753.84

Interest Saved

$20,043.33

Ready to see if you qualify for debt relief through Consolidated Credit? Talk to a certified credit counselor now for a free debt and budget evaluation.