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Virginia Debt Relief Guide

The “Old Dominion State” has seen many changes in the past few decades. Coal production has rapidly declined since the 1990s, and tobacco farms are cutting back as demand for cigarettes declines. But solar energy may soon employ out-of-work coal miners,[1] and a recent cannabis legalization bill may help rural farmers replace declining tobacco production. [2]

At the same time, the Dulles tech corridor, second in size only to silicon valley, continues to grow and attract more leading tech companies.[3]Additionally, military and defense-related industries, as well as finance continue to grow.

“The economy of Virginia is in good condition compared to other states,” says Gary Herman, President of Consolidated Credit, “but rising housing costs are severely affecting urban areas, and energy costs are hurting consumers in rural areas. So, no matter where you live in Virginia, you may be seeing your budget squeezed. Keeping credit card debt under control is essential in situations like these.”

Consolidated Credit Helps Virginia Residents Reduce Their Total Credit Card Payments by Up to 50% – Free evaluation

Consumer debt in Virginia

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

Income and employment in Virginia

Virginia is a right-to-work state. That means workers are not required to pay membership dues to a union. However, they still can choose to do so.

Virginia employers are adjusting to a job market where it’s challenging to find workers. With a sizeable high-tech employment base and the need for employees who can qualify for security clearances,  the competition for job candidates is challenging. Job growth in the state has been robust, with 73,000 jobs added from September of 2020 to September of 2021.[4]

A large number of military bases and installations in Virginia help provide a stabilizing factor for jobs and the state economy. The Pentagon, located in Northern Virginia, employs over 26,000 employees, both federal and civilian. Norfolk naval station employs close to 60,000 enlisted service people and around 20,000 civilian employees and contractors. Even the CIA has its headquarters in the state. While the number of employees at that facility is classified, it is still a significant amount. Virginia has the second largest active-duty military population after California.

Other major employers such as Freddie Mac, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Capital One all have headquarters in Virginia and offer high-paying careers. Those fortune 500 companies take advantage of one of the highest educated workforces in the nation. 48% of workers in Virginia have an associate degree or higher.[5]

Virginia’s pay rates can be excellent, with an average per capita income of $62,362 and an average median household income of $74,222. The minimum wage of $9.50 per hour is slightly above the nationwide average of $8.56 per hour.

Unemployment

Despite the tight labor market in Virginia, there are still unemployed people. If you are unemployed in Virginia, your Unemployment Insurance will last 26 weeks. There is no longer any Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in any state.

Apply for unemployment benefits in Virginia »

Banking and taxes in Virginia

Virginia residents pay a variable income tax that ranges from 2-5.75%, and you’ll have to pay even if you don’t live in Virginia. Virginia does have tax reciprocity with four other states and Washington, DC. So, those residents pay taxes to their home states. The highest tax rate begins for adjusted incomes starting at $17,001.

Residents of Virginia get a three-day sales tax holiday during early August. Taxes are not applied to clothing, school supplies, emergency products, and other categories during the holiday. The sales tax in Virginia is 4.5%.

Virginia 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 4.40%.

Virginia housing market

The national housing market is showing signs of slowing down, and housing sales in Virginia have begun to follow more seasonal trends again. In an interview with InsideNOVA, Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist for Virginia Realtors®, stated the current market “could also reflect a broader cooldown in some local areas.”[6]But despite more normal sales patterns, prices are still expected to be high, and multiple offers may continue.[7] Rural areas of the state and further out suburbs offer a relatively better affordability margin and could be an excellent choice for remote workers.

Virginia residents can take advantage of homestead deductions. There are also other deductions for residents above the age of 65 or permanently and totally disabled.

Virginia has help for renters who are having difficulty making their rent payments. Homeowners in Virginia can also get help with their mortgage payments. If you are thinking about buying a home in Virginia, there are many resources available.

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

Retirement in Virginia

For retirees, taxes in Virginia have very favorable rates, with all Social Security taxes exempt from the state income tax and additional age-related tax deductions.[8] Crime rates are statistically low – Virginia has the lowest crime rate in the South Atlantic Region. The crime rate of 2.1 incidents per 1000 people is lower than the national average by 43%.[9]

The “Old Dominion State” offers a lot of amenities to retirees beyond low taxes and safety. The region has many historical sites, including some that date back before the revolutionary war. Those over 60 can audit many university courses free, and if your income is below a certain threshold, you can even take those classes for academic credit.  If you’re retired from the Military, you’ll find plenty of other Veterans. There is also a lot of public transportation in more urban areas and access to major cities up and down the east coast.

Still, for many in Virginia, the cost of living is high, and those who are retired and on a fixed income may find retirement challenging. You’ll need an average of $885,000 to retire comfortably, but the average retirement savings is only $468,572. There are many areas of Virginia with lower-cost housing, and moving into rural areas can save a retiree a lot of money. The average resident retires at age 65, leaving themselves a good amount of time to enjoy all that Virginia offers. About 22% of retirees rely upon Social Security for at least 90% of their income.

Average Virginia insurance premiums

At $1,033, Virginia residents pay less for their yearly auto insurance than the national average of $1,413. Homeowner’s insurance is also less expensive than the national average of $1,631, as residents only pay $1,100. This could be due to the low crime rate of the state.

Health insurance in Virginia averages around $5,318, slightly lower than the national average of $5,936. Residents of Virginia are more likely to have health coverage than people from other states, with only 9.3% of residents lacking coverage.

Helpful resources for Virginia residents facing hardship

Food Insecurity

RegionFood BankPhone NumberAddress
Washington DCCapital Area Food Bank202.526.53444900 Puerto Rico Ave NE Washington, DC 20017
Tidewater & PiedmontFredericksburg Regional Foodbank540.371.7666  3631 Lee Hill Drive PO Box 1006 Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Hampton RoadsVirginia Peninsula Foodbank757.596.71882401 Aluminum Avenue Hampton, VA 23661
Southeastern VirginiaFoodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore757.627.6599  800 Tidewater Drive PO Box 1940 Norfolk, VA 23504
PiedmontFeed More804.521.2500  1415 Rhoadmiller Street Richmond, VA 23220
Northern NeckHealthy Harvest Food Bank804.577.0246  5116 Richmond Road Warsaw, VA 22572
Roanoke ValleyFeeding Southwest Virginia540.342.3011  1025 Electric Road Salem, VA 24153
Staunton–WaynesboroBlue Ridge Area Food Bank540.248.3663  P.O. Box 937 Verona, VA 24482

Veterans

As of 2019, Virginia was home to 677,533 Veterans. These resources are available to help Veterans that are facing unemployment, homelessness, and other hardships.

Veteran Resources:
National crisis hotline: (800) 273-8255

Department of Veterans Services
James Monroe Building
101 North 14th Street, 17th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
804-786-0286
[email protected]

Find Veterans’ services in your area »

Helpful employment resources for Veterans:

How Consolidated Credit helps Virginia residents find debt relief

In 2021, Consolidated Credit provided free credit counseling to 3,964 Virginia residents. Of those, 221 went on to consolidate their debt with our help through a debt management program (the average amount of debt enrolled was $12,598). 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 191 Virginia residents that got debt-free last year with the help of Consolidated Credit!

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

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 Virginia 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 Virginia 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. Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia residents. 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

Patricia from Virginia Beach, VA

“It feels so good to have someone here to help me get my credit and my life back on track. ”

Where she started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $14,931.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $8,062.30
  • Time to payoff: 10 years, 6 months
  • Total monthly payments: $596.52
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 4.79%
  • Total interest charges: $1,990.03
  • Time to payoff: 4 years, 7 months
  • Total monthly payment: $309.00
Time Saved

5 years, 11 months

Monthly Savings

$287.52

Interest Saved

$6,072.27

Case Study

Maria from Lorton, VA

“If not for your persistence, I probably still wouldn’t be sleeping at night. It was hard at first, but when 2 or 3 of my credit cards were paid off it was an awesome feeling. Quick response and always there to assist. Thanks! ”

Where she started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $39,179.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $22,369.05
  • Time to payoff: 14 years, 3 months
  • Total monthly payments: $1,567.16
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 5.11%
  • Total interest charges: $1,920.78
  • Time to payoff: 4 years, 4 months
  • Total monthly payment: $798.00
Time Saved

9 years, 11 months

Monthly Savings

$769.16

Interest Saved

$20,448.27

Case Study

Justin from Charlottesville, VA

“Consolidated Credit has been instrumental in my recovery from debt and mistakes I made in the past. These folks are helpful and now my debt is almost gone! ”

Where he started:
  • Total unsecured debt: $15,578.00
  • Estimated interest charges: $8,467.97
  • Time to payoff: 12 years, 9 months
  • Total monthly payments: $626.28
After DMP enrollment:
  • Average negotiated interest rate: 9.20%
  • Total interest charges: $2,944.22
  • Time to payoff: 3 years, 10 months
  • Total monthly payment: $402.00
Time Saved

8 years, 11 months

Monthly Savings

$224.28

Interest Saved

$5,523.75

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

Sources:

[1] https://dailyenergyinsider.com/news/31911-the-nature-conservancy-and-dominion-energy-virginia-to-develop-solar-project-on-former-coal-mine/

[2] https://northernvirginiamag.com/culture/culture-features/2020/03/13/how-new-marijuana-and-cbd-laws-are-impacting-virginia/

[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/06/22/feature/forget-silicon-valley-the-dulles-tech-corridor-is-cultivating-companies-that-break-the-mold/

[4] https://www.vec.virginia.gov/node/13706

[5] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/slideshows/the-10-most-educated-states-in-the-us?

[6] https://www.insidenova.com/news/arlington/virginia-home-sales-returning-to-seasonal-norms-after-covid-shakeup/article_0970347c-1dfc-11ec-98f9-d3f665e9758d.html

[7] https://www.virginiabusiness.com/article/frenzied-residential-housing-market-is-normalizing/

[8] https://www.tax.virginia.gov/news/virginia-taxes-and-your-retirement

[9] Virginia’s 20 Safest Cities of 2021 | SafeWise

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

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

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

[13] https://www.dol.gov/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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