2023 Guide to Debt Consolidation and Relief in Kansas

Kansans have fared pretty well when it comes to debt, with below-average credit card and non-mortgage debt totals, 

But that doesn’t mean families aren’t struggling. Many households in the Sunflower State are still struggling to repay debt. If you’re one of them, here’s everything you need to know to become debt-free.

How to Become Debt-Free in Kansas

There are four primary ways to get out of debt:

1. Debt Consolidation Loan

Works best for: People with 670+ credit scores

Debt consolidation loans involve using a new, larger loan to pay off your other unsecured debts, including credit cards. A debt consolidation loan should typically have a lower interest rate than your current debts to be effective. 

This leaves you with one monthly payment and one creditor, saving money and simplifying your payments.

READ MORE: How to consolidate your credit card debt

2. Debt Consolidation Company / Debt Consolidation Program

Works best for: Anyone with more than $10,000 in unsecured debt who is struggling to make their payments and wants to avoid bankruptcy

Debt settlement involves negotiating with creditors to repay less than the total amount they owe, sometimes as a lump sum and sometimes as a longer-term payment plan. 

In Kansas, debt settlement can help you pay off different forms of consumer debts, including:

  • Credit cards/lines of credit
  • Personal loans
  • Department store cards
  • Old judgments
  • Student loans in default
  • Other unsecured loans or debts

To make debt settlement work, you must stop paying your debts for three to six months until your creditor charges off the debt. This will damage your credit score but will incentivize the creditors to negotiate. Once settlements are reached, and payments are made, your credit score will rebound. 

The average debt settlement customer ends up debt-free while paying about 75% to 80% of the total enrolled in the program after all fees are paid. 

READ MORE: Is debt settlement the fastest way to get out of debt?

Debt Settlement Risks

  • Your creditors aren’t obligated to settle
  • If a creditor refuses to settle, you could end up having to pay accrued interest and late fees
  • Missed payments will show up on your credit report
  • You may have to report the forgiven amount as income tax to the IRS

Kansas Debt Consolidation Companies

Looking for a debt consolidation agency to help you get a handle on debts? Here are a few firms that could help:

Best Overall: DebtHammer

DebtHammer helps borrowers overwhelmed by unsecured debts ranging from payday loans and tribal loans to credit cards and medical bills. 

After a free consultation to review your situation, the DebtHammer representative will offer you a menu of options. You will decide on the course of action you prefer. These options may include debt settlement, debt consolidation, bankruptcy or others. DebtHammer requires a minimum debt of $7,500 for program enrollment or $1,000 in payday loans. The company charges 25% of the total enrolled debt.

READ MORE: DebtHammer review

Though based in Texas, DebtHammer currently provides solutions to residents of Kansas, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Some service options may not be available in all states.

Click here to schedule a free consultation.

More Kansas Debt Relief Companies

  • Alleviate Financial Solutions 4 Park Plaza Suite 1500, Irvine, CA 92614 (800) 308-2935; alleviatefinancial.com
  • Guardian Litigation Group: 17922 Fitch Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92614 (949) 312-4226; guardianlit.com
  • New Era Debt Solutions: 330 Wood Rd., Suite B Camarillo, CA 93010 (805) 303-8773; neweradebtsolutions.com
  • Global DS 675 W Indiantown Rd. Jupiter, FL 33458-7555, (866) 677-5044; globaldsgroup.com
  • InCharge Debt Solutions: Orlando, FL (800) 565-8953; incharge.org
  • Golden Financial Services Debt Settlement Corporation: Lake Worth, FL, (619) 600-5189; goldenfs.org
  • National Debt Relief 180 Maiden Ln 30th floor, New York, NY 10038 (800) 300-9550; nationaldebtrelief.com
  • DebtBlue: 1125 E Campbell Rd Suite 200, Richardson, TX 75081 (855) 269-9462; try.debtblue.com

Kansas Debt Settlement Attorneys

  • W M Law Olathe Office: 15095 W 116th St, Olathe, KS; (913) 422-0909; kansascitybankruptcy.com
  • Kansas Bankruptcy Center: 300 W Douglas Ave Ste 425, Wichita, KS; (316) 613-0952; www.kansasbankruptcycenter.com
  • Jordan Schwartz Law Office: 10955 Lowell Ave # 630, Overland Park, KS; (913) 642-4529; www.lawofficeofjordanschwartz.com
  • Steinwart Law Office, LLC: 8000 Foster St, Overland Park, KS; (913) 648-3220 ext. 3046; www.steinwartlaw.com
  • Patton & Dean, LLC: 8643 Hauser Ct #235, Lenexa, KS; (913) 203-4786; www.pattondean.com
  • Watton Law Group: 1201 Walnut St Suite 435, Kansas City, MO; (816) 750-2388; www.wattongroup.com
  • Kansas Bankruptcy Ladies: 300 W Douglas Ave STE 600, Wichita, KS; (316) 262-7696; milbylaw.com
  • John R. Hooge Attorney at Law, P.A.: 2619 W 6th St # D, Lawrence, KS; (785) 842-1138; www.johnhoogelawoffice.com
  • Garrett Law LLC: 1100 SW Wanamaker Rd #103, Topeka, KS; (785) 276-9300; www.garrettlawllc.com
  • Attorney Broc E. Whitehead: 310 W Central Ave #211, Wichita, KS; (316) 263-6500; brocwhitehead.com
  • Prelle Eron & Bailey, P.A.: 301 N Main #2000, Wichita, KS; (316) 262-5500; www.eronlaw.net
  • Phillips & Thomas LLC: 5251 W 116th Pl suite 200, Leawood, KS; (913) 385-9900; phillipsandthomas.com
  • Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC: 6750 93rd St #220, Overland Park, KS; (913) 642-2240; www.wflaw.net
  • Coons and Crump, LLC: 534 S Kansas Ave Suite 825, Topeka, KS; (785) 783-2360; www.coonscrump.com
  • Mack & Associates, LLC: 2850 SW Mission Woods Dr Suite 102, Topeka, KS; (785) 274-9040; www.kansasjustice.com
Eligible Debts

When seeking debt relief in Kansas, it’s important to note that not all types of debt are eligible. Debts that can be included in the state’s debt settlement programs include:

  • Credit cards
  • Department store cards
  • Signature loans
  • Personal lines of credit
  • Old repossessions
  • Other unsecured debts
  • Old judgments
  • Private student loans in default
Ineligible Debts

Debts that don’t typically qualify for debt settlement include:

  • Home mortgages
  • Federal student loans
  • Car loans
  • Other secured debts
  • Credit Union debts
  • Medical bills

3. Debt Management

Works best for: People with primarily credit card debt. Many credit counseling agencies work exclusively with credit card debt (and thus won’t be a help if you need to consolidate medical bills or student loans)

A debt management program will usually reduce the interest rates on your credit cards from the current average of about 20% to somewhere around 9%. This will lower your monthly payment. However, unlike debt settlement, you will repay the full amount you owe, plus a lower amount of interest. The program usually takes 3-5 years to complete. 

Pro tip: It’s important to note that only 55% to 70% of customers who enroll in DMPs successfully complete the program. If you enroll in a Debt Management Plan but don’t complete it, your financial situation could worsen. 

So, for example, if you had $5,000 in credit card debt and were paying 25% interest, your monthly interest rate would be $105. If you reduce the interest to 8%, you’ll pay $33 a month in interest. That’s a $72 savings that you could apply to reducing your debt and paying it off faster.

These programs are usually set up and administered by nonprofit credit counseling agencies. 

Like with debt settlement, debt management does not involve a loan. Credit scores won’t matter. But if you default on payments, your creditor could raise the interest rate back to its original amount. 

READ MORE: Debt management vs. debt settlement

Credit Counseling Agencies in Kansas

  • Consumer Credit Counseling Services: 8826 Santa Fe Dr, Overland Park, KS; (913) 642-5393
  • Kansas Counselors Inc: 10561 Barkley St Ste. 210, Overland Park, KS; (913) 541-9704; www.kcikc.com
  • Turning Point Credit Group: 7500 W 151st St #23337, Overland Park, KS; (833) 469-8876
  • Kansas City Credit Services Inc: 2016 Swift St, North Kansas City, MO; (816) 421-8001; www.kccreditservices.com
  • Credit Advisors Council – Credit Repair Kansas City: 8700 Monrovia #310, Lenexa, KS; (913) 353-4006; www.creditadvisorscouncil.com
  • Legends Credit Repair: 10300 W Central Ave, Wichita, KS; (913) 297-3328


Works best for: People who can see no other way to get out of debt within the next five years, who’ve already suffered significant credit score damage or who’ve tried one or more of the other options and failed

There are two types of bankruptcy:

  • Chapter 7: Your non-exempt assets are liquidated by a court-appointed trustee and the money is used to repay your debts. Some assets are exempt, including Social Security, your home, pensions and your car.
  • Chapter 13: You keep your assets but are on a payment plan to make regular payments toward your debt. All of the repayments go through your bankruptcy trustee.

In Kansas, to pass the Chapter 7 means test, you must:

  • Have a total monthly income of less than $7,475
  • If your total monthly income is over $12,475, you aren’t eligible for Chapter 7
  • If your income falls between the two numbers, other factors will need to be calculated

Kansas Bankruptcy Exemptions

  • Homestead: Up to one acre in the city and 160 acres of farmland
  • Personal property: Furnishings, equipment, and supplies owned and needed at the principal residence for up to one year; $7,500 in books, documents, and livestock/plants needed for work; jewelry up to $1,000
  • Vehicle: $20,000 if used for transportation to work
  • Wages: 75% of disposable earnings or 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher
  • Pension/retirement: Benefits and federal government pensions needed for support and paid within three months of filing bankruptcy

Debts that Aren’t Discharged by Chapter 7 Filings

Nondischargeable debts include alimony and child support, some taxes and fines, some student loans, debts for death or injury caused by driving while intoxicated, and any debts you fail to disclose in your bankruptcy petition.

Bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven to ten years and could knock your credit score down by as much as 200 points. 

However, that does not mean you won’t be able to borrow money for that entire period. As years pass, lenders will be more forgiving and you’ll have a better shot at loan approval.

READ MORE: Types of bankruptcy explained

What is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Kansas? 

The statute of limitations is how long a creditor can take you to court to collect unpaid debts. This period begins as soon as you miss the initial payment on a debt that’s due. In Kansas, the amount of time depends on the type of debt you have:

  • Oral agreements: 3 years
  • Written contracts: 5 years
  • Promissory notes: 5 years
  • Open-ended accounts: 3 years

Auto loans have a statute of limitations of four years and state tax debts have a limit of ten years.

Contact: Kansas Attorney General Office.

After the statute of limitations expires, the debt becomes “time-barred.” This means the original creditor can no longer collect on it. At this point, the court can’t order you to repay the debt either. Debt collectors also can’t garnish your wages or place a lien on your car or home.

You’ll still legally owe these debts. Also, debt collectors can still contact you via phone or letter to get you to pay.

READ MORE: State statutes of limitations on debt

Debt Collection Laws in Kansas

The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides protections guaranteeing that debt collectors treat Kansas residents fairly. These laws will not, however, forgive any legitimate debt you owe. Kansas does not have any additional state laws or statutes to supplement the FDCPA. However, the state’s Consumer Protection Division will help consumers with debt collection issues.

Under the FDCPA, neither creditors nor debt collectors can:

  • Use deceptive, abusive, fraudulent, or manipulative tactics to collect debts.
  • Use force or violence to get borrowers to pay their debts
  • Contact a borrower’s employer about a past-due account unless a prior agreement was made or they have a judgment
  • Sell or otherwise disclose private information to a third-party agency
  • Harass borrowers at home or work about the debt
  • Contact borrowers outside of standard business hours (9:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.) without consent
  • Intentionally misrepresent information

You have the right to contact a debt collector and tell them to stop contacting you, but it must be done in writing. 

Debt collectors and creditors must also provide written notification with details relating to the debt within five days of contacting the borrower. If you’ve been contacted about a debt you might not owe, you have 30 days to dispute it with a debt verification letter. In the letter, write that you don’t owe the debt and that they must provide written proof before anything else happens. However, if the collector sends you proof that you owe the debt, the debt collector is allowed to resume collection efforts.

If you owe several debts, any payment you make must be applied to the debt you choose. A debt collector is not allowed to apply your payment to any debt you believe you do not owe. If you believe the law was violated, you have the right to sue a debt collector in a state or federal court.

Where to Make a Complaint in Kansas

The Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner is the best place to register a complaint about illegal payday lending activities within the state. Here’s the contact information: 

  • Regulator: Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner – Division of Consumer & Mortgage Lending
  • Address: 700 SW Jackson St #300, Topeka, KS 66603
  • Phone: 785-380-3939 or 1-877-387-8523 (toll free)
  • Link to website: https://www.osbckansas.org/consumers/file-a-complaint

Consumers can also submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). They are the federal government’s organization dedicated to helping consumers with financial issues, including problems with payday lenders.

READ MORE: How to deal with debt collectors

More Kansas Debt Statistics

Kansas averageNational average
Average salary$52,850$59,428
Median household income$64,521$70,784
Per capita household income$34,968$36,430
Household debt$43,440$59,580
Auto loan debt$22,551$22,612
Credit card debt $5,769$6,194 
Mortgage debt$159,660$236,443
Median mortgage payment (30-year fixed)$1,446$2,823 
Average student loan debt $32,578$37,338
FICO credit score721714
Average VantageScore695701
Retirement savings$452,703$255,000
Child poverty13.94%5.2%
Overall poverty 12%11.6%
Bankruptcies in 202162789,224
Foreclosures (2022)78248,170
Identity thefts reported5,6511,108,609 
Percentage of unbanked and underbanked residents23.8%25.6%
Average credit utilization ratio23%31%

Payday lending status in Kansas: Legal

  • Maximum loan amount: $500
  • Maximum Interest Rate (APR): 782% (on a 7-day loan)
  • Minimum loan term: Seven days
  • Maximum loan term: 30 days
  • Number of rollovers allowed: None
  • Number of outstanding loans allowed: Two per lender
  • Cooling-off period: Lenders can’t give more than three loans to any one borrower within 30 days
  • Finance charges: 15% of the amount of the cash advance. Late charges no more than 3% per month for balances outstanding after the maturity date.
  • Collection fees: One non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee up to $30
  • Criminal action: Prohibited

The payday loan trap is rooted in high interest rates, short repayment terms, and consistent rollovers. When borrowers don’t have enough time to come up with their massive loan payments, they pay an indefinite series of fees or take out another loan to push back the due date and stay afloat.

Unfortunately, the Kansas payday loan laws do virtually nothing to prevent this trap. Feel free to take a look at the original legislation for more details.

READ MORE: States where payday loans are illegal

Debt Resources for Kansans Facing Hardship

Kansas offers a variety of local and state programs for residents looking for help with debt or finances. Among other things, these resources can provide low-cost or free childcare, job-related education and training, healthcare, and legal aid. Some programs can also help with the cost of rent or utilities.

Some of the main food banks in the state include:

  • Kansas Food Bank: 1919 E Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS;  (316) 265-3663
  • Giving Hope Food Pantry: 6640 State Ave, Kansas City, KS; (913) 291-9031
  • Kansas Food Bank – Independence: 307 W Pecan St, Independence, KS; (620) 331-0181
  • Salina Emergency Aid / Food Bank: ​PO Box 1482, 255 S. Chicago. Salina, KS; (785) 827-7111

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Kansas

You should file for unemployment as soon as you become unemployed, but you cannot file until your final workday has been completed.

When filing a new application, you will need the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Full mailing address
  • Phone number
  • The name and mailing address of your last employer
  • The date you began and stopped working for each employer for the last 18 months, and why you left each job 
  • The county in which you reside
  • Driver’s license number
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, your employment authorization number and expiration date
  • If you were active duty military within the past 18 months, your DD-214, Member #4 form
  • If you were a federal employee, your Standard Form SF-50 or pay stub
  • Any separation, vacation, or holiday pay you have received or will receive in the future.

Learn more here.

State Hardship Programs

The Kansas Department of Labor offers a number of programs to help people facing financial hardship.

Some of the programs include: 

  • The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) Program: Rent, utility, and internet assistance to households experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic.
  • Emergency Broadband Benefit: The benefit provides up to $50/month discount for broadband services; up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying tribal lands; and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider.
  • Emergency Water Assistance Program: This is a federally funded program that is being administered for Kansas residents by the Kansas Department for Children and Families. The program’s sole focus is to restore or prevent disconnection of water to Kansas households.
  • Home Weatherization Program: Reduces energy costs and improves comfort for income qualified households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring their health and safety. 
  • CHIP: Children’s Health Insurance Program is designed to help low-income families obtain affordable health care for their children. It includes certain services, like medicine and hospital care.
  • TANF: The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides temporary financial assistance for pregnant women and families with one or more dependent children. TANF provides financial assistance to help pay for food, shelter, utilities, and expenses other than medical.
  • SNAP: SNAP is available to help low-income households subsidize their food costs. Apply for a reloadable card and use it like you would a debit card at most grocery stores.
  • WIC: The Women, Infants and Children program is designed to help certain people, including low-income women with young children, afford food costs. Most people who qualify for SNAP or TANF benefits also qualify for this program.
  • LIHEAP: The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is federally funded and helps income-qualified families with heating and cooling costs.
  • CAFCP: The federal Child and Adult Food Care Program reimburses eligible organizations and daycare home providers for nutritious meals served in care settings. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cost of Living in Kansas

Annual Mean Wage (All Occupations)$60,152
Median Monthly Rent$863
Value of a Dollar$1.11
Cost of Living86.5
Cost of Living Rank48
Grocery Cost Index91.7
Housing Cost Index72.6
Utilities Cost Index100.2
Transportation Cost Index97.3
Miscellaneous Cost Index88.4
Source: World Population Review (updated October 2023)

The Bottom Line

Kansas residents are in better financial shape than most Americans, with lower-than-average debt and a low cost of living. But if you’re struggling to make your monthly payments or are facing an unforeseen hardship, you still have plenty of options.

Scroll to Top