Hispanic Community Hit Hardest by Recession

The Hispanic community has been hit hardest by the economic recession, according to a new study conducted by the Pew Foundation. Results showed that Hispanic families experienced the largest decline in wealth compared to any other ethnic groups in the country. It is estimated that one million Hispanic callers have sought professional financial advice from Consolidated Credit’s certified counselors in the wake of this recession.

The economic study, which used information from the Census Bureau, showed that the median wealth of Hispanic households fell by 66 percent from 2005 to 2009. Black households suffered a 53% drop in net worth over the same period. By contrast, whites saw a decline of 16% in household wealth. The median level of home equity held by Hispanic homeowners was cut in half – from $99,983 to $49,145 – and homeownership rate among Hispanics declined from 51 percent to 47 percent. These figures show the largest wealth difference in the 25 years that the bureau has been collecting data, according to the report.

Large populations of Hispanics live in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona, which are some of the states experiencing the steepest declines in housing values. Consolidated Credit, located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL has helped numerous families; both locally and nationally, change their spending habits to adjust to the recession setbacks.

The economy fluctuates in ways beyond our control. The best way to stay on top of everything is to gain knowledge of your financial situation and adjust your expenses accordingly. Take advantage of free credit reports and create a budget to develop a money management plan.

Over 60 percent of Consolidated Credit’s financial counselors are bi-lingual, speaking both English and Spanish. These counselors provide one-on-one advice and guidance as to the best solution to an individual’s situation. Consolidated Credit has reached out to the Hispanic community by addressing financial problems at different events and group meetings, as well as on radio and television.

Consolidated Credit also has a dedicated credit counseling website to for the Hispanic community, where users can get access to a Learning Center and Budget Analysis tool. Several free educational booklets have also been translated into Spanish. Titles include “Make the Most of Your Credit Score,” “Credit Cards: What You Need to Know” and “Understanding Your Credit Card Statement.”

Consolidated Credit urges the Hispanic community and other people affected by the recession to contact a certified financial counselor and get free expert advice on their specific situation. Counselors are trained in debt management, credit counseling, housing counseling, credit card debt and other personal finances.

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April Lewis-Parks
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