Economic Stress During The Holidays

We all have a bunch of bills, goals and daily life decisions to balance. There has been a universal truth for as long as we’ve had credit rating agencies studying our financial habits. If we have only enough money to pay one bill, and we have an auto loan, that’s the bill we choose to pay. The economy is the best in a generation and unemployment is at a 49-year low. However, South Florida is expensive still and the holidays have a way of adding a bunch of stress to people who are struggling to get by. Recently the Urban Institute produced a nationwide map of delinquency rates for auto loans. Again, given the priority we place on our cars, it gives us a pretty good idea of how many people really have a hard time right now. 

There are some key takeaways to this. When it comes to percent delinquent on auto-loans right now, about Floridians 4% of are delinquent. If we break it down by county it's about 5% for Miami-Dade, 4% for Broward and 3% for Palm Beach County.

So, we have a little of everything in South Florida. Folks in Miami-Dade are 20% more likely to be in serious financial distress than the average Floridian, while residents of Broward reflect the rest of the state. In Palm Beach County, we’re 25% less likely to be in financial straits. Aside from being a bit insightful into what’s really happening in our communities right now, it’s also a reminder that there are many who could use our help this season. While some of us could've had a terrific year, imagine what the holidays are like for those who are struggling. Doing what we can to be there for them this time of year could be the best gift we receive this holiday season.

Photo by Getty Images

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