Indiana has one of the lowest debt burdens in the country, but that doesn’t mean people don’t struggle financially. Many residents owe some kind of consumer debt, ranging from auto loans, mortgages, and payday loans to student loans and medical bills.
If you’re looking for debt relief in Indiana, there are many debt relief and debt consolidation programs out there. Not only that, but the Hoosier State also has many state and federal protections in place for those trying to get a handle on their debt situation.
Indiana Ranks 41st for Consumer Debt
According to a 2021 Experian report, Indiana’s debt burden per resident is $73,995. This puts the state at number 41 for consumer debt of any state. While this is lower than most states, it’s still a 3.1% increase from 2020’s report.
Other Indiana Debt Statistics
When it comes to consumer debt, many people think of credit cards and short-term installment loans. However, consumer debt also includes things like student loans, mortgage loans, auto loans, and other personal loans.
For residents of Indiana, here are some recent facts and statistics about the state’s debt:
- Average credit card debt per household: $5,254
- Average credit utilization ratio: 25%
- Total outstanding student loan debt (private and federal): $30.2 billion
- Average student debt per person: $32,874 (lower than the national average)
- Percentage of past-due credit card accounts: 6.46%
- Percentage of past-due auto loans: 4.48%
- Average FICO credit score in Indiana: 712
Indiana has an overall cost of living index of 90.6, making it one of the least expensive states to live in.
The Best Debt Consolidation Companies in Indiana
If you’re looking for debt relief in Indiana, one way to go about it is through debt consolidation. By consolidating high-interest credit cards or loans, you could end up saving hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest. You could also lower your monthly payments, making it easier to pay off debt more quickly.
Here are some of the top debt consolidation companies in Indiana.
Oxford Mortgage is a mortgage team that offers low rates on loans. It works with first-time homeowners, but it can also help with refinancing existing home loans or consolidating debt. The company also has several forms you can use to find specific information, such as the current loan rates. If you do need a loan, the application process is straightforward and entirely online.
- 5330 Vogel Rd. Evansville, IN, 47715
- (812) 476-9740
- Rating: 9.45/10
Hotel Capital is a direct lender and investor that can help with hotel capital markets, asset management services, and consulting.
- 133 W Market St Ste 290 Indianapolis, IN, 46204-2801
- (317) 632-5555
- Rating: 9.68/10
21st Century Lending, Inc.
21st Century Lending offers mortgage loans, real estate loans, and various credit and debt services. It can also help with new home purchases, refinancing, investment loans, and commercial loans.
- 405 Main Street Beech Grove, IN, 46107-1837
- (317) 781-8175
- Rating: 9.8/10
How Can I Get Help Paying My Bills in Indiana
Even if you aren’t actively seeking debt relief, Indiana has an array of programs and grants available to help in a financial crisis. Some of these programs are federally funded, while others are offered at the local or state government level. They can help with things like:
- Medical expenses
- Legal aid
- Bill payment (ex. utilities or rent)
- Dealing with debt collectors
- Food and nutrition
For help paying bills, contact one of these organizations:
- Community Action Agencies in Indiana: These agencies exist to promote self-sufficiency, improve the community, combat poverty, and help people in financial emergencies. Programs include weatherization and energy assistance, child care, and housing development. They’re run by local, private, or public nonprofits.
- Energy Assistance Program: Indiana’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally-funded program that can help families with their heat and electric bills. It does this primarily through short-term grants.
- Indiana Township Offices: The state offers immediate financial aid to individuals and families facing an emergency. This includes help with utilities, rent or mortgage payments, and funeral expenses.
- Indiana Township Association: Serving small rural communities, the Association is responsible for things like trash collection, road maintenance, and land use planning. It also provides emergency rental and bill repayment assistance.
- Indiana’s Utility Regulatory Commission: The Commission doesn’t offer direct financial help to people. However, it is responsible for regulating the state’s water, wastewater/sewage, and other utility companies. It also tracks and reports rates, charges, and the quality of service throughout the state. Its purpose is to make decisions for the betterment of the public and ensure accessible, clean, reliable services at fair rates. The Commission can also direct you to resources or programs that can help.
- Community Action Programs (CAPs): These non-government and other local providers offer several programs that assist with energy costs. They work to empower residents and communities by helping them achieve self-sufficiency. They also contract with LIHEAP to help with heating/cooling bills, minimize energy crises, and reduce energy costs.
- Energy Assistance Program (EAP) and Water Program: Although the application period closed on May 16, 2022, you may be able to find other funding. Contact your local service provider, local Community Action Agency, or dial 2-1-1 for referrals to local resources in your community. Applications will open again on October 01, 2022.
- Healthy Indiana Plan: This health insurance plan is available to uninsured adults between the ages of 19-64. Phone: (877) 438-4479
- Indiana State Law: Since 1894, this law has required all of Indiana’s towns, townships, and municipal governments to provide citizens with “poor relief.” This includes help with things like rent, utility bills, housing, and food.
- Hoosier Healthwise: This low-cost government health insurance plan is offered to pregnant women, children, and low-income families. Phone: (317) 232-4946
- HoosierRx: This program may pay the monthly Part D premium for senior citizens. Phone: (866) 267-4679
- Free Prescription Drug Card: This service provides prescription discounts to Indiana residents. The card is accepted across thousands of state pharmacies.
Indiana Food Banks and Centers
According to FeedingAmerica, over 834,000 people in Indiana face hunger. Fortunately, there are food banks and pantries available to those who need help getting free, nutritious food for their families. Some of the larger ones include:
- 2333 West Industrial Park Drive
- PO Box 697 Bloomington, IN 47404
- (812) 334-8374
- 2504 Lynch Road Evansville, IN 47711
- (812) 425-0775
- 999 East Tillman Road
- P. O. Box 10967 Fort Wayne, IN 46816
- (260) 447-3696
- 3737 Waldemere Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46241
- (317) 925-0191
- 1204 Greenbush Street Lafayette, IN 47904
- (765) 471-0062
- 6621 N. Old SR 3 Muncie, IN 47303
- (765) 287-8698
- 430 N 14th 1/2 St Terre Haute, IN 47807
- (812) 232-1447
For a more comprehensive list, check out FeedingAmerica’s main page or run a search on local pantries.
Established in 1933, Indiana’s Department of Financial Institutions oversees commercial and private banks, credit unions, trust companies, and other financial institutions and lenders. It’s also responsible for monitoring and enforcing lending and financial operations in the state.
The Department has five separate divisions:
- Division of Banks and Trust Companies
- Division of Consumer Credit (responsible for small loan, or payday, lenders)
- Division of Credit Unions
- Division of Administration
- Legal Division
Where to Make a Complaint
If you need to make a complaint about illegal payday lending activities in the state, here’s who to contact:
- Regulator: Indiana Department of Financial Institutions
- Address: 30 South Meridian Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
- Phone: (800) 382-4880 or (317) 232-3955
- Fax: (317) 232-7655
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.in.gov/dfi/files/Complaint%20Form%202016-10.pdf
You can also submit a complaint to the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is the federal government’s organization that’s dedicated to helping consumers deal with financial issues, such as payday lenders.
Debt Collection in Indiana
Indiana debt collectors are required to follow the rules set by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Besides federal protections, the state also has its own laws and regulations. Among other things, debt collectors in Indiana must:
- Immediately disclose that they are a debt collector
- Disclose the original creditor’s name during their first contact
- Indicate when the debt was sold (for third-party collectors only)
Within five days of contacting the debtor (person who owes the debt), they must also send a written notice. The notice should include:
- Total amount due
- Any interest that’s accrued since the debt was sold
- Any other charges that have been added since the debt was sold
- The total amount of payments received from the debtor
What is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Indiana?
The statute of limitations is the period in which a debt collector can try to sue you to collect on what you owe. Once it expires, they can no longer initiate a lawsuit against you. You will, however, still be responsible for the debt. The debt collector can also still try to collect the money by contacting you.
In Indiana, the statute of limitations depends on the type of debt:
- Mortgage debt: 6 years
- Medical debt: 6 years
- Credit card debt: 6 years
- Oral contracts: 6 years
- Auto loan debt: 4 years
- State tax debt: 10 years
If You’re Being Harassed by Debt Collectors
If debt collectors are harassing you, file a complaint online or over the phone with the following:
- Indiana’s Attorney General’s office
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
Filing for Bankruptcy in Indiana
If other forms of debt relief aren’t enough, filing for bankruptcy in Indiana may offer a fresh start. Before you file, speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to make sure it’s the best option for you.
There are two main types of personal bankruptcy.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy: The most common type of bankruptcy for individuals, Chapter 7 involves liquidating (selling) your assets to repay your creditors. Most cases take around 4 to 6 months to complete. Once everything that can be liquidated has been, your remaining eligible unsecured debts will be discharged or erased.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy: A little less common, Chapter 13 allows you to keep your assets or property, provided you have the means to pay. With this option, you must set up a repayment plan with your creditors that lasts 3 to 5 years. You may not have to pay all of what you owe; the amount depends on your income and other factors. After completing the plan, any remaining debts are discharged. Chapter 13 is usually more complicated than Chapter 7.
There are pros and cons to filing for either type of bankruptcy. However, you may not get to choose between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. For example, you’ll need to pass a means test to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7.
Some states offer bankruptcy exemptions, which protect assets up to a certain amount from being liquidated during bankruptcy. In Indiana, these exemptions include:
- Homestead: $19,300
- Wildcard: $10,250 (can be used on anything you want to protect that doesn’t already have an exemption)
- Wages: Up to 75% of disposable income
- Education savings account: Up to $500
- Pension/retirement: Generally exempt (some limitations apply)
Payday Lending Status in Indiana: Legal
Payday lending is legal in Indiana. However, the state does try to regulate these short-term, high-interest loans. Here are some of the main loan terms, debt limits, and collection limits in the state:
- Minimum loan amount: $50
- Maximum loan amount: $550 (or 20% of monthly gross income)
- Minimum loan term: 14 days
- Number of rollovers allowed: None
- Number of outstanding loans allowed per lender: One (from up to two lenders at a time)
- Cooling-off period: 7 days after 6 consecutive loans
- Finance charges: 15% on the first $250; 13% on the next $150; 10% on the final $150
- Collection fees: One $25 NSF fee per due date
- Criminal action: Prohibited
How to File for Unemployment in Indiana
You can file for unemployment benefits in Indiana online. To get started, you will need the following:
- Full name
- Date of Birth
- Current Address
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license or another valid form of identification
- Email address and phone number
- Recent employment information
- Bank account and routing number (for direct deposit)
Eligibility is usually determined within 21 business days. In most cases, Indianans are eligible for benefits for up to 26 weeks. However, there are also some federally-funded pandemic programs available to those who qualify.
For more information, go to Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development website.
The Bottom Line
If you’re seeking debt relief in Indiana, you’re not alone. Millions of people need help with bills and debt repayment.
Fortunately, there are several debt consolidation companies, local and federal programs, and grants available to those in need. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to one or more of your local or state programs. And, if you’re being harassed by debt collectors or are involved with illegal lending activities, file a complaint with the appropriate organization.
Indiana Debt Statistics
|Debt Per Capita||$3,192|
|Debt Per Capita Rank||25|
Source: World Population Review
Indiana Credit Card Debt Statistics
|Average Credit Card Balance||$5,254|
|Average Credit Score||712|
|Avg Credit Card Balance Rank (1 = Highest Balance)||36|
|Avg Credit Score Rank (1=Highest Score)||27|
Mortgage Debt in Indiana
|Mortgage Debt Per Capita||$124,454|
|Average 30 year Mortgage Rate||5.48%|
|Avg 15 yr Mortgage Rate||4.76%|
|Median Home Value||$156,000|
|Avg Outstanding Mortgage Debt||$140,915|
|Difference Between Value and Mortgage Debt||$15,085|
|Average Homeowner VantageScore||708|
Source: Federal Reserve, Value Penguin, Experian
Payday Loan Debt in Indiana
|Payday Loan Legal Status||Legal|
|Max Payday Loan Amount||550 or 20% of gross income|
|Max Payday Loan Term||Unspecified|
|Max Payday Loan APR||382%|
Source: Indiana Government Website
Unemployment and the Economy of Indiana
|Poverty Rate – Population||11.9%|
|Poverty Rate – Population – Rank||27|
|Poverty Rate – Family||14.8%|
|Poverty Rate – Family – Rank||26|
|Unemployment Rate (June 2022)||3.2|
|GDP Growth Rank||18|
Source: US Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Student Loan Debt in Indiana
|Percent of Population with Student Loans||57%|
|Average Student Loan debt||$29,561|
|Average Debt of New Graduates (2017-18)||$29,064|
|Average Debt Rank||N/A|
|Percent of Graduates with Debt (2017-18)||57%|
|Percent with Debt Rank||N/A|
|Usable Institutions (BA-Granting)||29|
|Percent of Graduates at Schools with Usable Data||84%|
|Nonfederal debt of graduates, as percent of total debt||22%|
|Fall enrollment – Undergraduate total (IPEDS)||343,480|
|Tuition and Fees (in-district/in-state)||$15,628|
|Total Cost of Attendance (on-campus)||$30,957|
|Percent of Institutional Grants that are Need-Based||65%|
Source: Value Penguin, TICAS
Cost of Living in Indiana
|Annual Mean Wage (All Occupations)||$47,030|
|Median Monthly Rent||$826|
|Value of a Dollar||$1.11|
|Cost of Living||82.2|
|Cost of Living Rank||7|
|Grocery Cost Index||92.9|
|Housing Cost Index||61.7|
|Utilities Cost Index||97.2|
|Transportation Cost Index||85.4|
|Miscellaneous Cost Index||97.3|
Source: World Population Review