ACCC client data shows new trends in DMP enrollment as credit card debt rises to record levels.
Boston, MA – March 22, 2023
New data compiled by American Consumer Credit Counseling,Inc (ACCC) shows more people across the U.S. with higher incomes and advanced degrees are enrolling in debt management programs to help relieve financial stress on their households.
The trend is emerging as revolving credit card debt nationwide has risen to record levels. American credit card balances increased at an annual rate of 11.1 percent in January, according to the Federal Reserve. Total credit card balances have reached nearly $1 trillion, the Fed reports.
“Our data shows some interesting trends in income and education levels among our debt management clients,” said Allen Amadin, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “In Q1 2018, the average income of clients enrolled in a debt management program was $53,428. However, this increased significantly to $65,764 in Q1 2023. This suggests more people with higher incomes may be seeking help from DMPs to manage their debt.”
Nonprofit credit counseling agencies, like ACCC, provide various services to individuals seeking debt management assistance. One of these services is a debt management plan, which consolidate payments on multiple credit cards into a single monthly payment. Additionally, DMPs are able to reduce interest rates and create a structured path for individuals to pay of their debt in three to five years. Along with DMPs, ACCC also offers budget counseling bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling and financial education.
ACCC’s client data shows the average income of its DMP client rose 23 percent in the first quarter of 2023 over the same period in 2018. The average amount of debt enrolled in a DMP also increased significantly (29 percent) from $19,962 in 2018 to $25,701 in 2023.
The level of higher education achieved by DMP clients is also increasing. In Q1 2023, according to ACCC’s client data, the percentage of DMP clients with a four-year degree rose by 36 percent over the same period in 2018. The number of clients with a master’s degree enrolled in debt management programs increased by 19 percent.
The largest growth segment ACCC documented was among those clients with incomes over $70,000 a year. In that category, the number of clients enrolled in a DMP increased by a staggering 92 percent from 2018 to 2023.
“It is important to note that managing debt is not only an issue faced by low-income individuals. In fact, anyone can struggle with debt regardless of their income level,” said Amadin. “Seeking help from a DMP can be a beneficial step in achieving financial stability.”
About American Consumer Credit Counseling, Inc
American Consumer Credit Counseling, Inc is a non-profit 501(c)(3) credit counseling organization that is dedicated to helping consumers achieve financial management through various debt solutions, such as credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, and financial education. With the goal of empowering consumers to reach debt relief, ACCC provides a wide range of free personal finance resources that cover topics such as budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. By using ACCC’s tools, such as worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles, consumers can make informed decisions about their financial future. ACCC has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). To learn more about ACCC or to access their free financial education resources, visit ConsumerCredit.com.