Marcus said, “Prospects for those working families at the poverty or low income level are bleak, but there are things that can be done to weather the storm.
Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) December 27, 2011
Citing rising living costs, unabated high unemployment and diminishing government service programs such as food stamps and tax credits, the Census Bureau reports a shrinking middle class replaced by the poor or near-poor. Years of stagnant wages are also blamed. Most alarming is that half of Americans are now in this classification. A New Horizon Credit Counseling Services is a nonprofit credit counseling organization that has been helping consumers since 1978.
Stephen Marcus, President of A New Horizon Credit Counseling Services said, “Frozen raises, pay cuts, reduced work schedules and job losses have many American families slipping below the low income threshold of approximately $45,000 for a family of four.” A New Horizon provides credit counseling and debt management services to individuals.
Adding concern for experts is the current political wrangling over laws that would reinstate a Social Security payroll tax cut and result in lower unemployment benefits, federal pay freezes and further reduction in entitlement spending. This could mean even more families slipping into the poor and low income classification.
The low income category is commonly defined as those earning between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level. About 97.3 million Americans fall into this classification. When this number is combined with the 49.1 million who fall below the poverty line, it represents 48% of the U.S. population; an increase of 4 million since 2009.
The highest numbers of low-income families are in the West and South including California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina, which have significantly reduced or eliminated aid programs.
Working families are not immune to this trend either. The Working Poor Families Project and the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit research group based in Washington found that for the last three years straight, working families who are low income has increase to 31.2%.
Marcus said, “Prospects for those working families at the poverty or low income level are bleak, but there are things that can be done to weather the storm. Consulting with a Credit Counselor and developing a sound debt management plan to deal with creditors allows the family to maximize the money available to the family.”
For more information about A New Horizon Credit Counseling debt management programs, contact 1-800-556-1548. They can also be found on the web at http://www.anewhorizon.org, or reached via email at slieberman(at)anewhorizon(dot)org.