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North Carolina Debt Relief Guide

The “Tar Heel” state has both suffered and grown during the past few years.

A long-term decline in local manufacturing has hit small towns and communities particularly hard. Meanwhile, larger cities have done very well, fueled by a boom in financial and technology industries. Those sectors have continued growth despite the pandemic.

But there is a great deal of poverty and long-term unemployment in the state.

“The story for North Carolina technology and banking workers is great. But households in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors are struggling,” Gary Herman, President of Consolidated Credit, stated. “People and families who are facing challenges like reduced income or unemployment must focus on paying down debt and increasing their savings. That way, they can achieve and maintain financial stability even in the face of potential economic challenges down the road.”

Don’t keep struggling on your own to eliminate your high interest rate credit card debt. Talk to a certified credit counselor to find the right debt relief option for your situation.

Consumer debt in North Carolina

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

In 2020, 8,723 North Carolina residents filed for bankruptcy.

Income and employment in North Carolina

North Carolina expects to grow back to pre-pandemic economic levels sometime in 2022. Still, threats like ongoing inflation and more variants could delay that growth. [1]

North Carolina continues to be an economically divided state. While metropolitan areas are growing, rural communities have been particularly hard hit.

Agriculture is still a dominant industry in North Carolina. Nearly one in five North Carolinian workers are employed in agriculture. [2]

At the same time, Charlotte and other larger cities are growing. Charlotte is the sixteenth largest city in the U.S. and is the second-largest banking center after New York.

North Carolina is a right-to-work state. That means workers are not required to pay membership dues to a union even if they are at their workplace. However, they still can choose to do so.

North Carolina’s pay rates could be better, with a per capita income of $50,086 and an average median household income of $54,602. The minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is below the nationwide average of $8.56 per hour.

If you are unemployed in North Carolina, your Unemployment Insurance will last 12 weeks.

Apply for unemployment benefits in North Carolina»
To file a claim by telephone number: 1-888-737-0259

Banking and taxes in North Carolina

North Carolina residents have a state income tax of 5.25% and sales tax of 4.75%. North Carolina doesn’t have any tax-free holidays.

North Carolina residents are more likely to bank than the average American. The percentage of unbanked residents—those without a checking or savings account stands at just 3.4%. That’s much lower than the national average of 5.1%.

North Carolina housing market

Raleigh and Charlotte both made Zillow’s top 10  list for hottest real estate markets for 2022. While the market is expected to slow somewhat, the seller’s market remains.[3] The average price for a home in North Carolina is around $278,000, much lower than the national average of $408,800.[4] Despite relatively low pricing in the state, there is still an affordability crisis. Many younger buyers and lower-income earners are getting priced out of the market.

North Carolina residents can take advantage of homestead deductions. There are also other deductions for residents above the age of 65 or for those who are permanently or totally disabled and deductions for historic properties.

  • 65.2% of North Carolina residents are homeowners
  • Average mortgage payment: $1,290
  • Average rent payment: $907

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

Retirement in North Carolina

For retirees, taxes in North Carolina can be good. Social Security income is not taxed, but income for retirement accounts such as 401(k)s pensions are taxed at the state income tax of 5.25%. Overall there is a lower than average cost of living. However, the crime rate is slightly higher than average.

You need an average of $865,000 to retire comfortably, but the average retirement savings is only $440,227. The average resident retires at age 63. About 28% of retirees rely upon Social Security for at least 90% of their income.

Average North Carolina insurance premiums

At $1,326, North Carolina residents pay less per year for auto insurance than the national average of $1,413. Homeowner’s insurance is slightly more expensive than the national average of $1,631, with residents paying $1,794, on average per year.

Health insurance in North Carolina averages around $6,247, higher than the national average of $5,936. Residents of North Carolina are less likely to have health coverage than people from other states, with 13.40% of residents lacking coverage.

Helpful resources for North Carolina residents facing hardship

Food insecurity

Region Food Bank Phone Number Address
Atlantic coastal plain regionSecond Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina(336) 784-57703655 Reed St.  Winston-Salem, NC 27107
Atlantic coastal plain regionHolly Springs Food Cupboard(919) 577-2210621 W Holly Springs Road | PO Box 268 | Holly Springs, NC 27540
Atlantic coastal plain regionSamaritan’s Shelf Food Pantry(919) 553-4332143 Short Johnson Rd, Clayton, NC 27520
Atlantic coastal plain regionFuquay Varina Emergency Food Pantry(919) 552-7720216 West Academy Street
Fuquay Varina, NC 27526
Southeastern North CarolinaFood Bank CENC at Wilmington(910) 251-14651314 Marstellar Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Southeastern North CarolinaWEUMC Food Pantry (910) 673-1371  4015 Highway 73, West End, NC 27376
Southeastern North CarolinaMother Hubbard’s Cupboard(910) 762-2199315 Red Cross Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
Southeastern North CarolinaSecond Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina (SHFB)(910) 485-6923406 Deep Creek Rd Fayetteville, NC 28312
Southeastern North CarolinaChristian Community Caring Center(910) 270-093015200 US Hwy 17
​Hampstead, NC 28443
PiedmontHearts and Hands Food Pantry(980) 292-0357202 South Old Statesville Road Huntersville, NC 28078
PiedmontBeloved Street Pantry(828) 571-07661302 Patton Ave. # 6386 Asheville, NC 28806
Research TriangleInter-Faith Food Shuttle(919) 250-00431001 BLAIR DRIVE, SUITE 120, RALEIGH, NC 27603
Research TriangleTri-Area Ministry Food Pantry  (919) 556-7144149 E Holding Avenue Wake Forest, NC 27587
Research TriangleFood Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina(919) 875-07071924 Capital Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27604


As of 2019, North Carolina was home to 659,584 Veterans. These resources are available to help Veterans that are facing unemployment, homelessness, and other hardships.

Veteran Resources:

North Carolina Department of Veterans Services
413 North Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

Find Veterans’ services in your area »

National crisis hotline: (800) 273-8255

Helpful employment resources for Veterans:

How Consolidated Credit helps North Carolina residents find debt relief

In 2021, Consolidated Credit provided free credit counseling to 5,534 North Carolina residents. Of those, 243 went on to consolidate their debt with our help through a debt management program (the average amount of debt enrolled was $10,272). 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 270 North Carolina residents that got debt-free last year with the help of Consolidated Credit!

Relief options to consider if you’re in debt in North Carolina

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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 consumers 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 consumers identify the best solution for getting out of debt. This is a free service. North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 residents can get out of debt in 36-60 payments.

Debt settlement allows North Carolina 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 North Carolina. If you’re facing challenges with debt, call us at (844) 276-1544 to receive a free debt and budget ] 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

Ray from Greensboro, NC

“Keep up the good work! Consolidated Credit has been very helpful in helping get my balances down. They were there for me when I need help. ”

Where he started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $5,617.39
  • Estimated interest charges: $2,737.78
  • Time to payoff: 8 years, 5 months
  • Total monthly payments: $224.70
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 4.80%
  • Total interest charges: $156.61
  • Time to payoff: 2 years, 7 months
  • Total monthly payment: $187.00
Time Saved

5 years, 10 months

Monthly Savings


Interest Saved


Case Study

Shirley from Mooresville, NC

“They are wonderful people to deal with, always helpful. ”

Where she started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $15,725.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $8,423.33
  • Time to payoff: 10 years, 9 months
  • Total monthly payments: $629.00
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 5.85%
  • Total interest charges: $1,697.27
  • Time to payoff: 4 years, 2 months
  • Total monthly payment: $348.00
Time Saved

6 years, 7 months

Monthly Savings


Interest Saved


Case Study

Suzanne from Charlotte, NC

“Consolidated Credit has helped me get my credit card debt under control. They’ve been professional and easy to work with from the first call. I high recommend them to anyone needing help and relief from debt. ”

Where she started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $25,781.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $15,215.62
  • Time to payoff: 15 years, 3 months
  • Total monthly payments: $1,031.24
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 5.00%
  • Total interest charges: $2,828.02
  • Time to payoff: 4 years, 10 months
  • Total monthly payment: $494.00
Time Saved

10 years, 5 months

Monthly Savings


Interest Saved


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