Missouri Debt Relief: What You Need to Know + the Best Debt Consolidation Companies

On average, residents of Missouri have a smaller debt burden than they do in other states. The cost of living is also the 12th lowest in the country. Even so, many Missourians still struggle with debt. If you’re one of them, know that there are several state and federal laws and resources to help you find debt relief.

Missouri Ranks 39th for Consumer Debt

Missouri ranks 39th in consumer debt nationwide. As of 2021, the average total household debt burden was $77,537. This is a slight increase from the previous year’s figure, which was $75,292.

Along with this, around 46,000 Missouri residents mistakenly received payment from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation for a total of $150 million during the pandemic. Some of these individuals are eligible for a repayment waiver through the state, but most of them now face new financial problems. For many, this overpayment may mean a lien on their home, garnished wages, or a withheld tax refund.

The situation has led to frustration and a greater debt burden for many Missourians. Many residents are also dealing with accounts in collections, high credit card debt, and other financial difficulties.

Other Missouri Debt Statistics

Throughout the United States, consumer debt has seen a slight increase. In Missouri, here are some of the key findings:

  • Credit card delinquency rate: 7.10%
  • Credit card debt balance per capita: $5,601
  • Average credit score: 707
  • Total outstanding student loan debt: $29.2 billion
  • Student loan debt per borrower: $32,634
  • Overall percentage of Missouri residents with debt in collections: 35%

The Best Debt Consolidation Companies in Missouri

Looking for Missouri debt relief? Here are some of the top debt consolidation companies in the Show-Me State.

Money Management International, Inc.

Management International was established in 1997 and has various locations throughout the country. Its mission is to help consumers find debt relief by helping them with credit card repayment, bankruptcy support, debt management, and home purchases. The company also offers debt management plans to those struggling with high-interest consumer debt. Online, it has free educational resources for people who want to build or repair their credit.

PCS Debt Relief

PCS Debt Relief offers a free consultation and has a debt-relief program that typically lasts between 6 and 24 months. It doesn’t charge any upfront, cancellation, or monthly fees. When you work with PCS, you’re paired with an experienced debt advisor who will guide you through a debt management solution.

This company also has debt settlement and debt negotiation programs. These programs are designed for consumer, business, and credit card debt. PCS is BBB accredited with an A+ rating and 4.2/5 stars. On Google, it has 4.8 stars.

Mid America Debt Relief

Mid America Debt Relief provides virtual consultations and debt solutions for people who have consumer debts such as credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, and debts that are in collections. It also has personal debt consolidation, debt negotiations, debt settlement, and other debt management solutions. 

With this Missouri debt-relief company, customers get a free, 30-minute consultation to determine their eligibility and the best option for them. Most debt-relief programs take no more than 48 months to complete. The fee structure depends on the program and the amount of debt relief needed, but Mid America does offer several discounts to seniors and veterans. The company has 4.8 stars on Google.

ShowME Credit Solutions – Credit Repair & Debt Settlement Services

ShowMe Credit Solutions is a credit repair company that sends out debt validation disputes to collection companies and the credit bureaus. Its financial staff has 10 years of combined experience in repairing people’s credit and removing negative items and errors on credit reports. Services also include identity theft coverage.

With ShowMe Credit Solutions, you work with a credit specialist throughout the entire process. The monthly fee is $99.

On BBB, the company has an A+ rating. On Google, it has 4.5 stars.

C24 Credit Solutions

C24 Credit Solutions is an expert in credit repair. It helps consumers by sending out disputes to the credit bureaus and collection agencies. It can also help remove items like late payments, bankruptcies, repossessions, tax liens, incorrect personal info, and more. One other optional service is credit report monitoring.

The company is committed to long-term credit repair and can help clients create a personalized strategy to ensure financial health in the future. Most people see results and a credit score boost within 90 days. Plus, C24 can help consumers build credit by including things like rental payments on their reports.

Credit CDU

Credit CDU offers convenient, affordable credit repair services. It also provides credit repair tips to help people get back and stay on track. It uses a step-by-step process to help remove negative items and errors from your credit report. Unlike similar companies, it serves as more of a guide than a direct credit repair service.

On BBB, it has an A+ rating.

  • 578 Town Hall Ct. St. Louis, MO 63141
  • (314) 439-1211
  • creditcdu.com
  • Rating: 5/5

How Can I Get Help Paying My Bills in Missouri?

Missouri offers several programs and resources to residents dealing with a financial crisis. This includes help with:

  • Dealing with debt collectors
  • Legal aid
  • Medical expenses
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Utility payments

The state also has several grants and financial assistance programs for specific financial situations.

If you need help with utility bills, contact one of these organizations:

  • FFY 2022 LIHEAP State Plan – The Low Income Home Energy Assitance Program helps with heating, cooling, weatherization, and energy crises.
  • FFY 2022 LIHWAP State Plan – The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program is designed to help the community and individual residents with their household water needs.
  • Missouri Warming Centers – There are warming centers available throughout the state.
  • Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services – The department offers various programs to seniors, professionals, caregivers, families, and agencies. Programs include immunizations, food programs, oral health, long-term care, and more.
  • Missouri Community Action Network – This program operates throughout the entire state serving low-income families to help them find financial security. It also offers education and job training, food and health resources, and more.
  • Missouri Division of Energy – The Division can connect Missourians to the energy resources they need while educating them on sustainable economic growth.

Besides these programs, here are a few others that could help Missourians struggling financially:

  • Child Care Assistance Program: Managed by the Missouri Department of Social Services, this program helps eligible families find affordable child care.
  • Missouri Rx Plan (MoRx): Missouri’s State Pharmacy Assistance Program pays up to 50% of out-of-pocket costs on prescription medications that aren’t covered by private insurance or Medicare Part D. Contact them here: 573-751-3425
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps: SNAP helps pay for food and provides nutrition education to lower-income households. Contact: 800-392-1261
  • Missouri MC+ and Medical Assistance for Families: This program offers medical insurance to minors. Contact: 1-800-392-2161
  • Lifeline Program: Lifeline provides telephone assistance and phone service discounts to low-income families and elderly Missourians. It may also help residents find a free cell phone for emergency use.
  • Government Assistance and Social Services: The Missouri Department of Social Services also has resources and provides assistance with energy bills, food, and health care. In some cases, it can also provide cash assistance.

Eligibility for these programs is based on several factors, such as household or individual income, family size, and region. Some programs work in sync with one another. For example, if you’re eligible for SNAP benefits, you may also be able to get energy or water assistance through LIHWAP or LIHEAP.

Go here for a list of contracted agencies who can help with LIHEAP or LIHWAP applications. Or go here for more information.

Missouri Food Banks

There are six primary food banks in Missouri, as well as multiple pantries and 1,500+ community feeding programs.

Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas

Second Harvest Community Food Bank

  • 915 Douglas St. St Joseph, MO 64505
  • (816) 364-3663

West Missouri

Harvesters Community Food Network

  • 3801 Topping Ave. Kansas City, MO 64129
  • (816) 929-3000

Central and Northeast Missouri

Central Missouri Food Bank

  • 2101 Vandiver Dr. Columbia, MO 65202
  • (573) 473-1020

East Missouri and Illinois

St. Louis Area Foodbank

  • 70 Corporate Woods Drive Bridgeton, MO 63044
  • (314) 292-6262

Southeast Missouri

Southeast Missouri Food Bank

  • 600 State Highway H Box 190 Sikeston, MO 63801
  • (573) 471-1818

Southwest Missouri

Ozarks Food Harvest

  • 2810 N Cedarbrook AvenSpringfield, MO 65803
  • (417) 865-3411

If you’re looking for a local food pantry in your area, check out Feeding Missouri’s map.

Consumer Information

The Missouri Division of Finance regulates financial institutions — ex. consumer credit facilities like payday lenders — in the state. It also monitors these institutions’ compliance with state and federal law to ensure people receive the proper protections. The division also:

  • Provides vital information on consumer rights and lender responsibilities
  • Ensures proper licensing of financial institutions operating within the state
  • Responds to consumer inquiries and complaints

Where to Make a Complaint

If you have a complaint about a payday lender or another financial institution, do so with the Missouri Division of Finance. Here’s their contact information:

Also, submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency that protects consumers from predatory financial institutions like payday lenders.

Debt Collection in Missouri

Missouri residents benefit from federal protections under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The act governs debt collection practices within the entire country.

State Protections

Unlike other states, Missouri doesn’t regulate or license collection agencies. These agencies still must comply with the FDCPA, though. Some of these protections include:

  • Limitations on when, how, and where debt collectors can contact you.
  • General debt collection practices (for example, debt collectors cannot use misleading tactics, threats, or other fraudulent methods to get you to pay).

For more information, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website: http://www.ftc.gov

What is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Missouri?

The statute of limitations is the period in which a debt collector can initiate a lawsuit to collect on your outstanding debts. Once the statute expires, there’s not much point in pursuing legal measures since the court can no longer require you to pay your balance. You will still be responsible for the debt, though.

Missouri’s statutes of limitations are as follows:

  • Mortgage debt: 10 years
  • Medical debt: 10 years
  • Credit card debt: 5 years
  • Auto loan debt: 4 years
  • State tax debt: 5 years

If You’re Being Harassed by Debt Collectors

If you’ve been harassed by debt collectors, file a complaint with Missouri’s Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Filing for Bankruptcy in Missouri

For Missourians who truly cannot manage their debt burden, bankruptcy is another potential debt relief option. Keep in mind, that it’s considered a last resort for a reason. Filing may destroy your credit and remain on your report for 7 to 10 years. However, if your credit has already tanked and you need a fresh start, bankruptcy could be the solution. Before making a decision, consult a bankruptcy attorney to make sure it’s right for you.

Usually, Chapter 7 is the most common type of personal bankruptcy. With it, the debtor’s (your) assets are sold, or liquidated, to repay creditors. The process usually takes around six months. Once it’s completed, most remaining unsecured debts are erased.

The other common form of personal bankruptcy is Chapter 13. With this type, you get to keep your assets and property. You must set up and follow a 3- to 5-year repayment plan in which you pay your creditors. During this period, a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee will control your spending.

Most people don’t get to choose which bankruptcy type they file. For example, you’ll need to pass a means test to qualify for Chapter 7. There are also certain pros and cons to filing one over the other. For example, if you’re behind on mortgage payments but want to keep your home, Chapter 13 could be better.

There are some costs associated with filing for bankruptcy.

If you’re looking for low-cost bankruptcy assistance or free legal aid in Missouri, check with the Missouri Legal Services. Or check with the United States Bankruptcy Court in Missouri to see the filing requirements.

There are a few exemptions for those who file for bankruptcy in Missouri. Anything covered by an exemption is protected, regardless of if you file for Chapter 7 or 13. However, the property or asset may be treated differently based on which chapter you file.

Missouri Bankruptcy Exemptions

Additionally, there are certain requirements you must meet to be eligible for these exemptions. For example, you need to live in the state for at least 180 days to file for bankruptcy. To qualify for most exemptions, you must first have lived in Missouri for 730+ days.

Common bankruptcy exemptions include:

  • Homestead exemption
  • Motor vehicle exemption
  • “Wildcard” exemption (this protects any property of your choosing)

Personal Property

Common personal property bankruptcy exemptions include:

  • Furniture, clothing, books, crops, appliances, animals, and instruments (max value: $3,000)
  • Burial grounds up to $100
  • Certain health aids or equipment
  • Wedding rings (max value: $1,500) and/or other jewelry (max value: $500)
  • Wrongful death awards
  • Firearms, accessories, and ammunition (max value: $1,500)
  • Health savings accounts
  • Tools required for your trade or business (max value: $3,000)
  • Child support, alimony, or maintenance (max value: $750 per month)

Retirement and Insurance Benefits

Retirement and insurance exemptions include:

  • Life insurance dividends, loan or cash surrender value, and interest, as long as the policy was purchased more than six months before filing (max value: $150,000)
  • Disability or illness benefits
  • Life insurance policies that haven’t matured
  • Retirement benefits for school employees, firefighters, police, public officers, and state and city employees.

Public Benefits

Public benefits exemptions include:

  • Veterans’ benefits
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Social Security benefits
  • Certain public assistance benefits

Payday Lending Status in Missouri: Legal

  • Maximum loan amount: $500
  • Maximum Interest Rate (APR): 1,955% on a 14-day loan
  • Minimum loan term: 14 days
  • Maximum loan term: 31 days
  • Number of rollovers allowed: Six
  • Number of outstanding loans allowed at a time: One
  • Cooling-off period: N/A
  • Finance charges: No more than 75% of the principal balance in interest and lender fees
  • Collection charges: $25 non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee and a late fee that’s equal to 5% of the amount due after 15 days.
  • Criminal action: Prohibited

The Bottom Line

From economic programs that help with monthly bills to debt consolidation, Missouri debt relief is available to residents who need it. The state also has many resources for residents who are experiencing a financial crisis or need ongoing help. Compare your options and establish a plan to help you get back on track and start paying down debt.

Missouri Debt Statistics

Total Debt$19,350,325,000
Debt Per Capita$3,185
Debt Per Capita Rank17

Source: World Population Review

Missouri Credit Card Debt Statistics

Average Credit Card Balance$5,601
Average Credit Score707
Avg Credit Card Balance Rank (1 = Highest Balance)1
Avg Credit Score Rank (1=Highest Score)34

Source: Experian

Mortgage Debt in Missouri

Mortgage Debt Per Capita$24,150
Average 30 Year Mortgage Rate5.99%
Average 15 Year Mortgage Rate5.375%
Median Home Value$227,286
Avg Outstanding Mortgage Debt$143,545
Difference Between Value and Mortgage Debt$24,155
Avg Homeowner FICO Score722

Source: Federal Reserve, Value Penguin, Experian

Payday Loan Debt in Missouri

Payday Loan Legal StatusLegal
Maximum Payday Loan Amount500
Maximum Payday Loan Term31 days
Maximum Payday Loan APR1955%

Source: Missouri Government Website

Unemployment and the Economy of Missouri

Poverty Rate – Population12.9%
Poverty Rate – Population – Rank33
Poverty Rate – Family16.6%
Poverty Rate – Family – Rank30
Unemployment Rate (June 2022)3.1%
Unemployment Rank20
GDP Growth4.6%
GDP Growth Rank24

Source: US Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Student Loan Debt in Missouri

Percentage of Population with Student Loans58%
Average Student Loan debt$35,397
Average Debt of New Graduates (2017-18)$29,224
Average Debt RankN/A
Percent of Graduates with Debt (2017-18)58%
Percent with Debt RankN/A
Usable Institutions (BA-Granting)24
Percent of Graduates at Schools with Usable Data53%
Nonfederal debt of graduates, as percent of total debt14%
Fall enrollment – Undergraduate total (IPEDS)312,471
Tuition and Fees (in-district/in-state)$12,328
Total Cost of Attendance (on-campus)$27,858
Percentage of Institutional Grants that are Need-Based73%

Source: Value Penguin, TICAS

Cost of Living in Missouri

Annual Mean Wage (All Occupations)$60,043
Median Monthly Rent$830
Value of a Dollar$1.12
Cost of Living90.5
Cost of Living Rank12
Grocery Cost Index95.8
Housing Cost Index83.2
Utilities Cost Index95.5
Transportation Cost Index89.6
Miscellaneous Cost Index93.2

Source: World Population Review

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