Freedom Financial Network Notes Concern That Debt is Growing Faster Than Income

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FFN Quarterly Comment: Despite Thawing Economy, Increasing Debt a Problem

With the Great Recession now well behind us and several quarters of growth stabilizing economic conditions, hiring forecasts have finally picked up. Yet consumers continue to add debt faster than income is increasing, according to the Freedom Financial Network Quarterly Comment on consumer debt and credit issues.

Freedom Financial Network observes several economic indicators closely and provides consumer education in its work to help consumers get out of debt and stay out of debt.

“Personal income is rising gradually, but consumer debt – especially non-revolving debt – is increasing more quickly,” said Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations for Freedom Financial Network (FFN), quoting survey figures from the National Retail Federation. “This indicates that individuals are continuing to live beyond their means. While revolving debt – such as credit card debt is holding somewhat steady, total debt has gone up every month for two and a half years.”

While the latest global hiring report indicates that across the world, hiring forecasts are strong, U.S. unemployment is holding fairly steady, and labor force participation has declined somewhat.

“Without signs of significant improvement in the U.S. job market, people are taking risks by continuing to raise their debt load in this way,” added Andrew Housser, FFN co-founder and CEO.

Recent financial data as reported:

1.    Total consumer debt climbs. For January (the most recent data available), consumer credit was projected to have climbed by 5.25 percent, year over year. The increase brought total consumer debt (excluding mortgage debt) to $3.112 trillion, setting a new high for the 29th consecutive month.

2.    Revolving debt fairly steady. In January, total consumer revolving debt, which includes credit card debt, declined by 0.25 percent. The total amount of revolving debt held by U.S. consumers was $856.2 billion for January. This figure has stayed fairly steady for about the past year.

3.    Non-revolving credit continues to climb. Non-revolving consumer debt – which includes auto and RV loans, and education loans – climbed to a projected $2.256 trillion in January. Annual growth in non-revolving credit was projected at 7.5 percent, the same rate of increase as in October, when FFN issued its last report.

4.    Personal income creeps up. In January (the most recent data available), personal income rose by $43.9 billion, or 0.3 percent. Disposable personal income rose $45.2 billion or 0.4 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports.

5.    Unemployment declines slightly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the unemployment rate has declined to 6.7 percent – although this is little changed since December, and the labor force participation rate is down 0.5 percent from one year ago.

The FFN Quarterly Comment pulls together significant statistical releases and provides quarterly comment on timely debt and credit issues that matter to consumers. To schedule an interview with Kevin Gallegos or Andrew Housser, contact Aimee Bennett at 303-843-9840 or aimee(at)faganbusinesscommunications(dot)com.

Freedom Financial Network (
Freedom Financial Network, LLC (FFN), provides comprehensive consumer credit advocacy services. Through the FFN family of companies – Freedom Debt Relief, Freedom Tax Relief, ConsolidationPlus, FreedomPlus and – FFN works as an independent advocate to provide comprehensive financial solutions, including debt consolidation, debt resolution, debt settlement and tax resolution services for consumers struggling with debt. The company, which has resolved more than $2 billion in debt for more than 200,000 clients since 2002, is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council, and a platinum member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.

Based in San Mateo, Calif., FFN also operates an office in Tempe, Ariz. The company, with more than 600 employees, was voted one of the best places to work in the San Francisco Bay area in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013, and in the Phoenix area in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. FFN’s founders are recipients of the Northern California Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


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Aimee Bennett
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