The best places to live if you want to pay off debt fast!
How does the quality of life in your city compare with others? What about crime rates, access to transportation and other amenities like parks or cultural institutions? Whether you’re a recent college grad who has debts piling up or an older person looking for retirement options, it’s important that every neighborhood is suitable. Here are five cities ranked by residents as having some of the best areas to retire on next-to-nothing.
Milwaukee: This Midwestern city ranks low on traditional metrics such as cost of living but high when considering its levels of educational attainment and health outcomes. Residents also have easy access to trains from Milwaukee’s airport which makes commuting relatively convenient despite being located near Lake Michigan.
Salt Lake City: Salt Lake City enjoys low unemployment rates thanks primarily due westward economic ties with California–which is something not always seen among inland states in the U.S.. In addition, Utah boasts some excellent museums including those devoted solely towards film history which can be found at Temple Square Downtown along with both natural landscapes (including nearby Arches National Park) and ski slopes just minutes away from urban centers throughout the year

The “best way to pay off debt fast” is a question that many people have. There are many different ways to do so, but the best place for you will depend on your personal situation.

A new year brings new beginnings, but it’s difficult to have a fresh start when you’re saddled with debt. You may take out a personal loan to combine your debt and pay it off more quickly, or you could consider relocating. Depending on where you reside in the United States, being thrifty might be more difficult, regardless of how much you budget and cut spending.

LendingTree analysts looked at five variables across the 100 biggest U.S. metros by population to discover the best and worst cities to pay off debt, including average credit use rate, median rent as a proportion of family income, and regional pricing parity, among others.

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The most important discoveries

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  • The greatest locations to pay off debt in North Carolina are the urban areas. Three metro areas in this southern state are in the top ten.
  • Despite North Carolina’s supremacy, the Midwest has a stronger presence in the top ten than the South. Six Midwest metros (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri) in the top ten, outnumbering North Carolina and South Carolina’s four.
  • The worst location to pay off debt is Honolulu. Except for New York, San Jose, California, and San Francisco, regional costs for goods and services in the capital of Hawaii’s metro area are on average higher than virtually all 100 of the major metros.
  • If you want to pay off your debt, California is a difficult location to live. Riverside, Los Angeles, Stockton, Fresno, and Bakersfield are five of the top ten worst areas to pay off debt in California.

The credit usage ratio, or the amount of debt you have compared to your overall credit limit, in each of the North Carolina metros is reasonably low. (The worst-rated of the three is Winston-Salem, at 23.3 percent, which is comparable to the 100-metro average of 23.1 percent.) This implies that most North Carolinians aren’t maxing out their credit cards, leaving them with extra money to pay off debt each payday.

In addition, North Carolina has a low unemployment rate. This implies that instead of incurring debt, individuals are generating an income and are able to pay it off.

“The less money you have to pay for your house each month, the more money you have to pay off debt, save for emergencies, and overall improve your financial condition,” says Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree.

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North Carolina is known as the Tar Heel State.

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If you’re looking to pay off your debt quicker, you might want to head to North Carolina — North Carolina is known as the Tar Heel State.. Raleigh is the best place to pay down debt, one of three in North Carolina among the top 10 places in the LendingTree rankings.

The metros in North Carolina that are in the top ten are there for a variety of reasons:

  • Raleigh, Durham, and Winston-Salem all have rents that are less than 20% of median family income, with Raleigh’s being the lowest at 17.2 percent. This is about two percentage points lower than the national average of 19.5 percent for the 100 metros studied. North Carolinians are expected to have more money to dedicate to debt payments due to decreased monthly housing expenditures.
  • Each of the North Carolina metros has lower prices for products and services than the national average.
  • If you’re supporting a family, the state of North Carolina bans debt collectors from garnishing your salary. This implies that the National Consumer Law Center gave all of North Carolina’s metro areas an A for wage protection.

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

The Midwest is also a fantastic place because of its low cost of living.

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Another wonderful region to explore if you’re looking to pay off debt is the Midwest. Six of the top ten metros on our list are located in the Midwest.

Despite the fact that none of the states in the top ten represent Midwest metros in terms of wage protection, they all have a cheap cost of living.

In several of the top-ranked Midwestern metros, rent as a proportion of median family income is even lower than in the top-ranked metro. Des Moines, Iowa, has the lowest proportion of rent as monthly income among the top ten cities, with 15.9%, closely followed by St. Louis, at 16.0 percent.

Other characteristics make America’s heartland an excellent location for debt repayment: The costs of products and services in all of the top 10 Midwest metros are cheaper than the national average. And unemployment is below 3.0 percent in most metro areas, with rates as low as 1.7 percent in Omaha, Nebraska, and 1.8 percent in Madison, Wisconsin, respectively.

“A cheap cost of living combined with a low unemployment rate is a fairly good combination,” Schulz argues. “We’re seeing it in a lot of these towns that are so high on this list.”

isockphoto is the source of this image.

In California, it’s more harder to pay off debt.

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On the other hand, five metro areas in California — the Golden State — make it a difficult location to live if you’re trying to pay off debt.

Three of the five California metros rated at the bottom have cost of goods and services that are higher than the national average, however Fresno and Bakersfield are also close to the national average.

This implies that, unlike the North Carolina and Midwest metros at the top of our rankings, your money won’t go as far there. California may be the birthplace of the gold rush, but it may be a difficult location to get ahead if you’re in debt.

In addition to the California metros, Honolulu, New York, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and New Haven, Connecticut round out the lowest ten metros for debt repayment. Though they aren’t all in the same part of the country, several of these metros have a greater cost of living than the national average. In fact, in six of the ten metros, the cost of goods and services is higher than the national average.

Furthermore, virtually all of the lowest 10 metros spend more than 20% of their monthly income on rent, with Angelenos spending a quarter of their salary on housing on average. These variables, along with increased unemployment rates and comparably high loan use percentages, make it more difficult to get out of debt.

“It’s difficult to put money down in savings when you live in these extremely expensive places,” Schulz adds, “and when you can’t save, it’s harder to ever completely escape debt.” “That’s because if you don’t have any savings, any unforeseen expenditure — such as a vehicle repair or a medical emergency — is likely to be charged to the credit card you just paid off.” This keeps the debt cycle going, and it’s extremely difficult to break it.”

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Methodology

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Researchers analyzed five measures across the United States’ 100 biggest metropolitan statistical regions (“MSAs”).

  • The average credit usage rate measures how much credit individuals use vs how much credit they have available. This was estimated using a sample of over 1 million anonymized credit reports from LendingTree subscribers collected in December 2020.
  • The percentage of people that are unemployed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States provided statistics for October 2021.
  • The median rent divided by the median household income is the median rent as a proportion of the median household income. The data comes from the one-year estimates of the American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau in 2019.
  • The price of products and services in a certain region relative to the national average. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States provided the statistics for 2019.
  • Debt protection ratings are a way for governments to safeguard their citizens’ income from debt collectors. The National Consumer Law Center provided the statistics for 2019. This is the sole metric that is measured at the state level instead of the metro level.

Each of these five measures was assigned a numerical value based on its position between the greatest and lowest values. The values were then added together and divided by five to get an equal weight distribution.

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Tulsa, Oklahoma (#25)

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  • 25.4 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 2.2 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 17.9%
  • Price parity in the region: 88.6
  • Score for debt protection: D
  • Index: 69.40

Johnny Warrior / istockphoto contributed to this image.

Salt Lake City, Utah (#24)

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  • 19.2 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 1.4 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 17.7%
  • Price parity in the region: 98.6
  • F is the grade for debt protection.
  • Index: 69.78

istockphoto/Sean Pavone is the source of this image.

Akron, Ohio is number 23.

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  • 19.4 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 3.9 percent unemployment rate
  • 17.4 percent of income is spent on rent.
  • Price parity in the region: 90
  • F is the grade for debt protection.
  • 71.27 is the index number.

User:OHWiki contributed this image.

Columbus, Ohio is number 22.

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  • 20.4 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 3.5 percent unemployment rate
  • 17.2 percent of income is spent on rent.
  • Price parity in the region: 91.6
  • F is the grade for debt protection.
  • 72.39 on the scale

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Boise, Idaho is number twenty-one.

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  • 18.2 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • The unemployment rate is 2.0%.
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 18.9%
  • Price parity in the region: 93.6
  • F is the grade for debt protection.
  • 73.51 is the index number.

Mike Worley / istockphoto contributed to this image.

Columbia, South Carolina is number 20.

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  • The average credit usage rate is 25.9%.
  • 2.8 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 19.8%
  • Price parity in the region: 91.4
  • Score for debt protection: A
  • 73.51 is the index number.

Deposit Photos provided the image.

19. The city of Pittsburgh

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  • 24.5 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 4.8 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 16.2%
  • Price parity in the region: 92.4
  • Score for debt protection: A
  • 74.25 is the index.

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Kansas City, Missouri is number eighteen.

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  • 22.2 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 3.0 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 16.9%
  • Price parity in the region: 92.8
  • Score for debt protection: D
  • 74.25 is the index.

istockphoto/Sean Pavone is the source of this image.

Cleveland, Ohio (#17)

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  • 20.2 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 3.7 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 17.0%
  • Price parity in the region: 89.9%
  • F is the grade for debt protection.
  • 76.49 on the scale

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is number 16 on the list.

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  • 22.8 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 4.1 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 16.9%
  • 95.9% regional price parity
  • Score for debt protection: A
  • 78.36 is the index number.

Sean Pavone / istockphoto contributed to this image.

Charlotte, North Carolina is number fifteen.

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  • 21.0 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 3.6 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 19.5%
  • Price parity in the region: 94.4
  • Score for debt protection: A
  • 81.34 is the index number.

Sean Pavone / istockphoto contributed to this image.

Provo, Utah (#14)

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  • 18.6 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 1.2 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 17.0%
  • Price parity in the region: 96.3
  • F is the grade for debt protection.
  • 81.72 is the index number.

Image Credit: Utah Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau / Flickr.

Minneapolis is number thirteen.

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  • 19.2 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 2.6 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 16.4%
  • Price parity in the region: 102.9
  • Score for debt protection: C
  • 82.09 is the index number.

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Ogden, Utah is number 12 on the list.

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  • 21.0 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 1.3 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 16.1%
  • Price parity in the region: 94.3
  • F is the grade for debt protection.
  • 82.46 is the index number.

Scott Catron of Sandy, Utah, provided the image.

Cincinnati, Ohio (#11)

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  • 20.3 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 3.5 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 15.33%
  • Price parity in the region: 90.6
  • F is the grade for debt protection.
  • 83.21 is the index number.

Scott Meyer/Stockphoto/Istockphoto

St. Louis is number ten.

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  • 21.8 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 3.2 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 16.0%
  • Price parity in the region: 90.1
  • Score for debt protection: D
  • 83.58 is the index number.

isockphoto is the source of this image.

Des Moines, Idaho is number nine.

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  • 21.6 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 2.8 percent unemployment rate
  • 92.3 percent of income is spent on rent.
  • Price parity in the region: 94.4
  • Score for debt protection: D
  • 85.07 on the index

isockphoto is the source of this image.

Indianapolis is ranked number eight.

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  • 20.2 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 2.4 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 17.9%
  • Price parity in the region: 91.1
  • Score for debt protection: D
  • 85.82 on the scale

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Madison, Wisconsin is number seven.

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  • 21.8 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 1.8 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 17.33%
  • Price parity in the region: 96.4
  • Score for debt protection: B
  • The index is 86.94.

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina is ranked number six.

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  • 23.3 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 3.5 percent unemployment rate
  • 18.2 percent of income is spent on rent.
  • Price parity in the region: 88.7%
  • Score for debt protection: A
  • 90.30 on the index

Deposit Photos provided the image.

Milwaukee is number five.

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  • 22.0 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 2.8 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 16.7%
  • Price parity in the region: 94.6
  • Score for debt protection: B
  • 90.67 on the scale

isockphoto is the source of this image.

Durham, North Carolina is number four.

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  • 18.3 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 2.9 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 19.6%
  • Price parity in the region: 94.8
  • Score for debt protection: A
  • The index is 92.91.

Sean Pavone / istockphoto contributed to this image.

Omaha, Nebraska is number three.

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  • 20.9 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 1.7 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 16.2%
  • Price parity in the region: 91.7
  • Score for debt protection: D
  • The index is 92.91.

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Greenville, South Carolina is number two.

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  • 23.3 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 2.7 percent unemployment rate
  • Rent as a percentage of income: 17.7%
  • Price parity in the region: 90.7
  • Score for debt protection: A
  • 94.03 is the index number.

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Raleigh, North Carolina is number one.

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  • 19.4 percent is the average credit usage rate.
  • 3.0 percent unemployment rate
  • 17.2 percent of income is spent on rent.
  • Price parity in the region: 96.1
  • Score for debt protection: A
  • The index is 100.

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

No matter where you reside, here are six strategies to help you pay off your debt.

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If you’ve set a New Year’s resolve to pay off your debt, there are tactics you may use regardless of where you reside in the nation.

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1. Make a budget that is based on zero.

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Making a budget to help you monitor your spending is one of the greatest strategies to start managing your debt. There are various sorts of budgets, but a zero-based budget, which accounts for every dollar generated, is an excellent tool for debt management. It’s easy to understand where to put money toward debt repayment when you give each dollar a task.

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2. Make use of the debt avalanche strategy.

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When you first start managing your bills, create a list of all of your loans, starting with the one with the highest interest rate and working your way down to the one with the lowest. The debt avalanche strategy allows you to pay off your highest-interest loans first, which allows you to pay the least amount of interest over time.

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3. Make use of the debt snowball strategy.

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The highest interest bills are often the greatest sums, making it seem as though paying off all of your debt would take an eternity. If this describes you, consider using the debt snowball strategy.

List your obligations from lowest to greatest, then prioritize paying off the smallest loan first. This strategy allows you to achieve tiny victories along the route to being debt-free.

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4. Use a personal loan or a balance transfer to consolidate debt.

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Consolidating your debts might help you avoid paying a lot of interest. This approach integrates many types of debt, such as credit cards, into a single personal loan. You may also benefit from a cheaper interest rate since you just have one monthly payment.

“Because you’re essentially changing revolving debt into installment debt,” Schulz explains, “it no longer counts against your usage rate and may make a substantial impact.” “Of course, it doesn’t change the fact that paying off that debt as quickly as possible is critical.”

Another alternative is to move your amount to a credit card with a low or 0% introductory APR. Because the low or no APR is usually only offered for a limited time — usually 12 to 15 months — this option is only viable if you can pay off the loan within that time frame.

istockphoto/demaerre is the source of this image.

5. Use any extra money to pay off debts.

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If you’re set to get a tax return, have earned an end-of-year bonus, or have a pile of cash from the holidays, use it to make an additional loan payment.

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6. Work up a repayment schedule with your creditors or negotiate a debt settlement.

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If you’ve created a budget but are still having trouble paying off your debts, contact your creditors and explain your position. Perhaps they’ll agree to a lesser monthly payment schedule or settle for less debt than is outstanding.

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Maintain a modest credit use rate.

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“It matters a lot since utilization is the second most significant component in FICO credit rating models,” Schulz adds. “The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to make it better. The most effective method is to knock down your balances. Keeping your credit card amounts as low as possible should always be your top priority.”

For further information, go to:

This post was syndicated by MediaFeed.org and originally published on LendingTree.com.

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