Debt can be a significant source of stress for both men and women in Mississippi. However, data collected by Comet Financial show that women carry higher debt loads than men on average. The average student loan balance for women was $30,716 while men owed amounts that averaged $24,323. Car loans produced another disparity, with women owing an average of $12,183 compared to $10,371 for men.

Credit card debts followed the same pattern. While women carried an average outstanding balance of $6,559, men’s credit card debts averaged $5,163. Medical bills hit women harder as well. Their average medical debts were $1,110 more than that for men. The gender wage gap presents itself as the likely contributor of higher debts for women. In general, female workers only earn $0.72 to $0.82 for every $1 paid to male workers.

Regardless of gender, people have a strong interest in paying down their burdensome debts. To accomplish this, they might scrutinize their budgets for expenses that can be cut so that money can be redirected to debt balances. For many people, a second job has the potential to bring in hundreds of extra dollars per month that could go toward paying off loans.

When circumstances have forced a person so far into debt that keeping up with loan payments and living expenses appears impossible, speaking with an attorney about bankruptcy might reveal a solution. After reviewing someone’s financial situation, an attorney might recommend filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This action might result in an adjusted payment plan that a debtor can keep up with every month. An attorney could prepare the financial disclosures necessary for petitioning the court. Legal support could allow a person to halt creditor harassment and potentially convince a court to discharge a portion of debts after the completion of a payment plan.

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