Idaho’s current population is 1,939,033 and growing. The average personal wage is $47,940, which is about $10,000 lower than the total debt per capita of $58,090.
Although it’s one of the more affordable states to call home, many Idaho residents still struggle financially. The state ranks 20th in terms of overall poverty rate at 11.2%, and not all Idahoans have a fair wage.
There is good news, though. If you’re living in Idaho and need debt relief or financial assistance, or if you’re interested in learning more about your individual consumer rights, here’s what you should know.
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Idaho debt statistics
Check out these recent debt statistics in Idaho:
- Average household debt (debt per capita): $58,090
- Average student loan debt: $33,012
- Average credit score: 725
- Median mortgage payment: $1,228
- Bankruptcies in 2021: 2,000
- Personal income/Annual mean wage: $47,940
- Child poverty: 12.9%
- Unemployment: 3.0%
Debt collection laws in Idaho
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in America to protect consumers from unfair, abusive, or manipulative debt collection practices. This federal law also prevents debt collectors from doing the following to try to collect money:
- Willingly deceiving consumers about a debt
- Using threats of violence or jail time
- Harassing people at home or work
- Contacting anyone other than the person who owes the debt (except in select cases)
- Claiming they will take legal action unless they actually intend to do so
Idaho also has its own regulations pertaining to debt collection in the state. This is called the Idaho Collection Agency Act (ICCA). The ICCA requires debt collectors to get a permit before doing any of the following:
- Operating as a debt counselor, credit repair business, buyer of debt, or a collection agency
- Conducting either credit repair or credit counseling services
- Trying to collect a debt through other direct or indirect means
The Idaho Statute Section 26-2229A goes into more detail about specific prohibited debt collection practices as outlined under the FDCPA. For example:
- Any licensed debt collector must deal with individuals and businesses fairly and without deception.
- Debt collectors cannot attempt to collect additional fees or expenses not outlined in the debt contract.
- A debt collector is prohibited from using documents that look like government documents to try to collect money.
- No agency or individual trying to collect a debt can claim to be a government agency.
Debt relief options for Idaho residents
Idaho debt relief exists in many forms, including:
- Debt settlement: With debt settlement, you typically work with an agency to try to get your creditors to reduce how much you owe on your unsecured debts.
- DIY plans: If you’re being harassed by debt collectors or creditors, you could set up your own debt settlement plan. Or you could try to get them to waive certain fees, reduce your interest rates, or work with you on monthly payments.
- Debt consolidation: With a debt consolidation loan, you can combine multiple high-interest debts into one loan with a fixed monthly payment. This can be a good option for borrowers with a lot of unsecured debts and good credit.
- Debt management plan: A DMP is a three- to five-year plan offered through nonprofit credit counseling agencies. This debt relief option could help if you’re struggling with a lot of debt and need help paying it off.
- Personal bankruptcy: If all else fails, a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy could give you a fresh start. Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer before filing for bankruptcy to see which option works for you.
To learn more about Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Idaho, check out this video:
Debt settlement in Idaho
A debt settlement plan can help if you’re:
- Frequently behind on monthly payments and are drowning in late fees
- Using expensive forms of credit like payday loans to pay for your monthly expenses
- Facing bankruptcy
Debt settlement can help with most unsecured debts, including:
- Personal lines of credit
- Credit cards
- Department store cards
- Old judgments
- Loans in default (student, personal, etc.)
Most people go through a debt settlement agency for this process. If you choose this route, someone from the agency will work with your creditors to try to reduce what you owe on each eligible debt.
While they do this, you will need to start making regular payments into a secured account. If your creditors agree to settle your debts, the agency will use that account to pay off the new balance — usually in a lump sum.
Creditors are not required to settle your debts. However, they still want to get paid, too. So, if they believe they won’t get money otherwise, they may agree to the process. When successful, you could see a total debt reduction of about 50% after agency fees.
Idaho debt settlement companies
Need a debt settlement company in Idaho? Here are some of the main ones:
- Debt Reduction Services: 6213 N Cloverdale Rd #100, Boise, ID 83713; (208) 378-0200
- Money Fit Credit Counseling: 6213 N Cloverdale Rd Suite 100, Boise, ID 83713; (800) 432-0310
- Advanced Credit Solutions: 124 3rd St S, Nampa, ID 83651; (208) 461-9443
- NewEra Debt Solutions: 330 Wood Rd., Suite B Camarillo, CA 93010; (844) 891-4227
- Pacific Debt Relief: 750 B Street, Suite 1700 San Diego, CA 92101; (833) 865-2028
Debt settlement attorneys
For Idahoans seeking debt settlement or other forms of debt relief, here are some highly-rated attorneys to check out:
- Avery Law: 1843 S Broadway Ave Ste 203B, Boise, ID 83706 or 3090 E Gentry Way, Suite 150 Meridian, ID 83642; (208) 285-2085
- Idaho Bankruptcy Law: 101 W 18th St, Burley, ID 83318 or 560 Filer Ave, Ste E Twin Falls, ID 83301; (208) 219-7997 or (208) 219-7997
- Gravis Law, PLLC: 1661 W Shoreline Dr. Suite 200, Boise, ID 83702; (208) 385-0800
- Olsen Taggart Attorneys At Law: 1449 E. 17th St. Ste. A Idaho Falls, ID 83404; (208) 552-6442
Debt resources for Idaho residents facing hardship
Idaho offers many debt resources to residents facing financial hardship. These resources can help with things like:
- Finding affordable housing
- Getting help with medical bills
- Subsidizing food or utility costs
- Finding low-cost or pro bono legal aid
- Bringing delinquent accounts current
The Gem State also has a few food banks, soup kitchens, and food pantries throughout the state. For the roughly 152,890 people — one in 11 — facing hunger in Idaho, these resources are essential.
Here are some of the biggest food banks in the state:
- Second Harvest Inland Northwest: 1234 E. Front Avenue Spokane, WA 99202; (509) 534-6678
- The Idaho Foodbank: 3630 E Commercial Ct Meridian, ID 83642; (208) 336-9643
- Eagle Community Foodbank: 149 W State St, Ste 121 Eagle, ID 83616; (208) 631-0702
- Meridian Food Bank: 133 W. Broadway Meridian, ID 83642; (208) 888-5102
- Family Crisis Center: 16 E Main St Rexburg, ID 83440; (208) 356-0065
Feeding America has more information about hunger in Idaho, as well as the different programs available to residents.
Income and employment in Idaho
In April 2020, Idaho’s unemployment rate was 11.8%. Since then, it’s dropped to 3.0%. This is lower than the national average.
The state also ranks 25th in terms of job creation with 829,900 new jobs (year over year). This is good news for residents still seeking gainful employment.
Like much of the United States, Idaho has right-to-work laws. This means that a worker is not required to join a union in order to work. In some cases, this could lead to lower job security or wages.
Idaho is also an employment-at-will state. This means that an employer can terminate an employee with or without cause or notice. The exception is if the reason is found to be illegal or discriminatory.
How to apply for unemployment benefits in Idaho
There are two ways to apply for unemployment benefits in Idaho:
- In person at a local Department of Labor office
- Online on the Department of Labor website
When applying online, head to the DOL website and navigate to the section on unemployment benefits. This page displays the different resources available to residents. It also has the Claimant Portal, which is where you can apply for UI benefits, certify weekly benefits, and manage your account.
If you don’t already have an ID.me account, you’ll need to create one. Once you have an account, you’ll be asked for the following information:
- Identification like a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID
- Social Security Number
- Employment information from the past two years
Not everyone is eligible for benefits. To be eligible, you’ll need to prove that you’re unemployed through no fault of your own. You’ll also need to be physically able to work full-time and make a certain minimum amount. You can find more information on eligibility here.
Banking and taxes in Idaho
As of 2022, Idaho has had a graduated individual income tax ranging from 1.00% to 6.00%.
- $1 to $1,662 = 1.00% tax rate
- $1,662 to $4,987 = 3.0% tax rate on amounts over $1,662 plus $16.62
- $4,987 to $8,311 = 4.5% tax rate on amounts over $4,987 plus $116.36
- $8,311 and up = 6.00% tax rate on amounts over $8,311 plus $265.96
The income amounts double for married couples.
In Idaho, about 3% of people are unbanked — meaning they don’t have a traditional checking or savings account. People who are unbanked are more likely to turn to expensive types of credit, like cash advance apps or payday loans, in times of financial emergency.
Idaho housing market
About 71.9% of Idaho residents are homeowners. The median mortgage payment is $1,228. Meanwhile, the current average housing price in the state is $459,947. This is over $100,000 higher than the national average home price.
In contrast, the median rent payment in Boise, Idaho is $1,651 for an 872-square-foot apartment. Rent prices vary based on location, apartment quality, and size.
Many homeowners struggle to make ends meet or pay their mortgages on time. Fortunately, the Idaho Homeowners Assistance Fund can help with mortgage payments and related expenses. To be eligible for aid, you’ll need to meet certain income requirements, own the home, and use it as your primary residence.
Retirement in Idaho
On average, Idahoans have $437,396 saved for retirement. But to retire comfortably and keep a similar lifestyle to what they had during their working years, they need closer to $728,967.
Average Idaho insurance premiums
The average cost of full-coverage auto insurance in Idaho is $1,065 a year. This breaks down to about $88.75 a month and is below average in the country.
The average home insurance premium is around $936 for the year. The cost of insurance depends on several factors, such as the home size, age, and location.
Payday lending status in Idaho: Legal
Payday loans are legal in Idaho
- Maximum loan amount: $1,000 or 25% of gross monthly income
- Maximum Interest Rate (APR): N/A
- Minimum loan term: N/A
- Maximum loan term: N/A
The Idaho Credit Code (Idaho Department of Finance) regulates payday lending in the state. However, these short-term loans are still expensive. Oftentimes, they lead to a cycle of debt that can be difficult to escape. If you need a loan for something, consider looking elsewhere — such as at your credit union or a local government program.
Statute of limitations on debt in Idaho
The statute of limitations on debt in Idaho ranges from four to 12 years, depending on the debt and contract type.
- Medical debt: 5 years
- Credit card: 4 years
- Auto loan debt: 4 years
- State tax debt: 12 years
State hardship programs
Idaho offers many state hardship programs to residents struggling with debt and the cost of living. These include:
- HUD Housing: This resource connects people with subsidized housing and rental units within the state. These homes tend to be more affordable than newer homes.
- Single Family Housing Repair and Grants Program: This program is designed to help elderly and low-income individuals get a loan to modernize their homes and remove safety hazards.
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program: LIHEAP, a federal program, helps eligible families with their heating bills and weatherization. The program also offers energy conservation resources and relevant education. You can apply for assistance online.
- Low-Income Water Assistance: This program helps Idaho families and individuals pay for their water bills.
- Children’s Health Insurance Program: CHIP, or Medicaid for Children, offers affordable health insurance to children from low-income families.
- SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: SNAP is a charitable program that helps low-income households with their food and nutrition needs through cash assistance.
- Combined Application for Health Coverage Assistance: The Department of Health and Welfare works within different counties offering healthcare assistance to residents. To be eligible, you must also apply for Medicaid services.
- WIC: The Women, Infants, and Children program in Idaho offers food assistance and nutrition education to low-income women with young children or infants.
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Also called TAFI (Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho), this program provides short-term cash assistance to low-income families.
- Organization for Refugees: Several resources, such as Neighbors United, offer education, health information, and related resources to refugees in Idaho.
Help for Veterans
Nearly 10% of Idaho’s population consists of veterans — that’s roughly 116,157 residents. Many veterans struggle to find work or affordable housing. But the Idaho Department of Veteran Affairs has resources that can help.
Facilities in Idaho
One such resource is the many VA facilities in Idaho. These include:
- Boise VA Medical Center: 500 West Fort Street Boise, ID 83702-4501; (208) 422-1000
- Caldwell VA Clinic: 4521 Thomas Jefferson Street Caldwell, ID 83605-5100; (208) 454-4820
- Twin Falls VA Clinic: 260 2nd Avenue East Twin Falls, ID 83301-6242; (208) 732-0959
- Boise Regional Office: 444 W. Fort St. Boise, ID 83702–4535; (800) 827-1000
- Pocatello VA Clinic: 500 South 11th Avenue Pocatello, ID 83201-4835; (208) 232-6214
- Idaho State Veterans Cemetery: 10100 N Horseshoe Bend Rd, Boise, ID 83714; (208) 780-1340
- Bannock County Veterans Services: 1075 S 8th Ave, Pocatello, ID 83201; (208) 282-4245
Employment resources for Veterans
The Division of Veterans Services in Idaho offers various employment opportunities, such as job fairs and workshops, to veterans. Besides these, these organizations also help veterans find work or related training:
- MilitaryHire.com — an online site for veterans looking to upload their resumes and apply for work
- CareerOneStop — a one-stop shop for vets seeking civilian work, job training, and other resources
- Helmets to Hardhats — a nationwide program that helps veterans find civilian work in the construction industry
- Hiring Our Heroes — national program for veterans seeking job training and networking opportunities
- VeteranRecruiting.com — this site has virtual career fairs, an online recruitment center, and various employment opportunities for veterans
- My Next Move — this organization helps veterans obtain civilian work
- Warriors to Work — connects veterans to different career resources such as resume help and job counseling
The bottom line
If you’re seeking debt relief in Idaho or need help with the cost of living, you have options. The Gem State offers many local, state, and federal programs and resources designed to subsidize costs and get you back on your feet. And if you’re struggling with a lot of debt, you could also consider one of Idaho’s many debt relief solutions, like debt settlement or credit counseling.
This depends on the specific debt. For example, an open account like a credit card can be collected for up to four years. State tax debts can be collected for 12 years.
Typically, the statute of limitations starts on the date of your last payment or charge.
Idaho is a community property state, meaning all debts and assets gained during the marriage are the responsibility of both spouses. Upon divorce, most debts — and assets — are split between both spouses. This could mean you will be responsible for your spouse’s debt.