Approximately 4,240,137 people live in Oregon State. On average, Oregonians have a personal income of $59,070 and owe $61,760 in consumer debt (excluding mortgages). The state — affectionately known as The Beaver State — has a poverty rate of 11.4%, the 23rd highest in the U.S.
Oregon is known for its striking scenery, recreational activities, and economic growth. But many residents still struggle financially. Whether you need Oregon debt relief or some other financial assistance, here’s what you need to know.
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Oregon debt statistics
These are some of the most recent debt- and credit-related statistics for Oregon:
- Average household debt (debt per capita): $61,760
- Average student loan debt: $37,017
- Average credit score: 731
- Median mortgage payment: $1,647
- Bankruptcies in 2021: 4,771
- Personal income/Annual mean wage: $59,070
- Child poverty: 12.6%
- Unemployment: 4.50%
Debt collection laws in Oregon
Oregon adheres to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a federal law that regulates debt collection throughout the country. The state also requires debt collectors to register with the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services before pursuing payment.
Under the FDCPA and state law, debt collectors must follow certain procedures when attempting to collect a debt. For example, they:
- Must identify themselves and why they are calling when contacting a debtor (person who owes)
- Cannot intentionally misrepresent themselves or who they work for
- Are only allowed to contact borrowers between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (unless a prior agreement was reached)
- Can’t harass, threaten, or intimidate debtors to try to collect money
- Must stop contacting a debtor at home or at work upon request
- Claim a debtor owes more than they do, or that they owe a debt that’s past its statute of limitations
- Threaten legal actions they don’t intend to take (ex. wage garnishment)
- Use profanities during a conversation
For more information about unlawful debt collection practices and their potential consequences, refer to Chapter 646 Trade Practices and Antitrust Regulation.
Debt relief options for Oregon residents
In Oregon, here are some of the most common types of debt relief available to residents:
- Debt consolidation: Debt consolidation is the process of combining several smaller unsecured debts into one larger loan — usually with a lower interest rate. This can make it easier to make on-time payments and cut down on things like late fees.
- Debt management plan (DMP): A DMP is a program designed to help individuals who are dealing with large amounts of consumer debt. With a DMP, you could lower interest rates, waive certain fees, or establish a customized repayment plan. You can typically set up a DMP through a nonprofit credit counseling agency.
- Debt settlement: Debt settlement can reduce how much you owe to less than the original amount. This often makes it easier to pay off the remaining debt.
- DIY plans: If you don’t want to go through a company, you could also try a DIY debt relief plan. With one, you’ll need to contact your creditors or debt collectors and negotiate with them. You might be able to establish a better repayment plan, get lower interest rates, or waive late fees.
- Personal bankruptcy: Filing for bankruptcy might destroy your credit, but it could also get you back on your feet when all else fails. Consult an attorney about whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you — if either.
Debt settlement in Oregon
Debt settlement could help if you’re many months behind on your bills, can’t keep up with multiple monthly payments, or are using expensive short-term loans or credit cards for everyday expenses. With a debt settlement plan, you could potentially pay off the following types of debts more quickly:
- Personal lines of credit
- Credit cards
- Personal loans
- Loans in default
- Department store credit cards
- Old judgments
- Other unsecured debts
If you’re interested in debt settlement, you’ll typically need to go through an agency. With an agency, you’ll work with a professional who will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf to try to lower what you owe. When successful, you could reduce how much you owe by 50% or more.
Debt settlement takes some time — often between two and four years — to complete. During the process, the agency might tell you to quit making payments on your enrolled debts. This can increase your chances of success, though it might also lead to damaged credit and late fees.
While the agency works with your creditors, you’ll typically need to start making payments into a secured account. If a creditor agrees to settle a debt, the agency will then use that account to pay the remaining balance to pay off the debt in a lump sum.
Oregon debt settlement companies
If you’re thinking about debt settlement or debt relief, here are some Oregon-based companies to consider:
- Debt Relief NW, LLC.: 202 SE 181st Ave #102, Portland, OR 97233; (503) 492-4109 or (877) 492-4109
- American Consumer Credit Counseling INC.: 1050 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97204; (800) 769-3571
- Money Management International: 10260 SW Greenburg Rd 4th Floor, Tigard, OR 97223; (503) 334-4648
- InCharge Debt Solutions: 5750 Major Blvd #300, Orlando, FL 32819; (866) 489-1915
- DebtReduction Services: 4170 Veterans Memorial Highway Suite 203 Bohemia, NY 11716; (631) 473-7500
Debt settlement attorneys
Debt settlement can be a complicated process, one that’s not right for everyone. So, consider consulting an attorney before getting started.
- Law Office of Attorney Kim Covington: 1445 Willamette St #9, Eugene, OR 97401; (541) 393-2790 or (800) 673-1891
- Jessica Nomie Law: 10121 SE Sunnyside Rd #300, Clackamas, OR 97015; (879) 215-1411 or (971) 258-1411
- The Law Offices of Alexzander C.J. Adams, P.C.: 14705 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton, OR 97003; (503) 278-5400
- American Consumer Credit Counseling: 1050 SW 6th Ave. STE 1100 Portland, OR 97204; (800) 769-3571
- Kuni Don Aldson, LLP: 15 82nd Drive, Suite 235, Gladstone, Oregon; (503) 227-3004
Debt resources for Oregon residents facing hardship
Oregon has a myriad of resources available to help residents facing financial hardship. These resources can help with things like utility bills, rent or mortgage payments, childcare costs, healthcare, and more.
In Oregon, 407,840 people are facing hunger, 114,460 of whom are children. That’s roughly one in 10 people — or one in eight children. Fortunately, Oregon has several food banks and food pantries to help provide free nutritious food to those in need.
Here’s a list of the main food banks in the state:
- Clark County Food Bank: 6502 NE 47th Ave Vancouver, WA 98661; (360) 693-0939
- Columbia Pacific Food Bank: 1421 Columbia Blvd. St. Helens, OR 97051; (503) 397-9708
- Oregon Food Bank: 7900 NE 33rd Drive Portland, OR 97211; (503) 282-0555
- Food For Lane County: 770 Bailey Hill Road Eugene, Oregon 97402; (541) 343-2822
- Marion Polk Food Share: 1660 Salem Industrial Drive NE Salem OR 97301-0374; (503) 581-3855
- Food Share of Lincoln County: 535 NE 1st Street Newport, Oregon 97365; (541) 265-8578
- Feeding Umpqua, 280 Kenneth Ford Drive Roseburg, OR 97470; (541) 672-3421 or (800) 301-8226
- NeighborImpact Food Bank (Administrative Office): 2303 SW 1st Street Redmond OR, 97756; (541) 548-2380
For a comprehensive list, check out the Oregon Food Bank website.
Income and employment in Oregon
Oregon ranks third in terms of job creation with 123,500 new jobs by the end of 2020 and another 98,500 by the end of 2021.
The current unemployment rate is 4.50%, down from the 13.30% it was in April 2020. However, the unemployment rate remains higher than the national average of 3.4%.
Oregon is an employment-at-will state, meaning an employer can fire an employee with or without cause or notice. Employees can also quit their job without notice (unless a contract says otherwise). The downside of employment-at-will is that there’s often less job security involved.
The state is not a right-to-work state. This means you, as an employee, could be required to join a labor union and pay its dues as a condition of employment.
How to apply for unemployment benefits in Oregon
You can file for unemployment benefits on the Oregon government website. The website provides information on how to find a job, how to file a UI (unemployment insurance) claim, and more.
When you’re ready to file, head to the Online Claim System. Once you’ve applied for your initial claim, you’ll need to file for weekly claims from here as well.
To apply, you’ll need to provide some personal and employment information. This includes any work history for the past 18 months — ex. employer’s or employers’ names, dates of employment, contact information, and income amount.
You’ll need to meet a certain minimum income to qualify. You’ll also need to have worked at least 500 hours during the base year. For more information, refer to “Section 1: Filing for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits.”
After completing the initial claim application, you’ll receive a “Wage and Potential Benefit Report” in the mail detailing your benefits amount and further instructions.
Banking and taxes in Oregon
Oregon has a graduated personal income tax. In 2022, it ranged from 4.75% to 9.90% for individual filers. The state does not have a sales tax.
An estimated 1.6% of Oregonians were unbanked in 2021. This means that they have neither a checking nor a savings account. While not always the case, people who are unbanked may be at higher risk for expensive forms of credit like payday loans or cash advances.
Oregon housing market
The owner-occupied housing rate — homeownership rate — in Oregon was 63.5% in 2020. The average housing price is $474,097, a 2.6% increase over the past 12 months. This is higher than the U.S. average home value of $328,745.
In Oregon, the median mortgage payment is $1,835. The average rent varies by location. In Portland, for example, it’s around $1,779 for a standard 759-sq-ft apartment.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Oregon homeowners struggled to manage their mortgage payments. Because of this, the state established the Oregon Homeowners Assistance Fund. This fund exists to help homeowners impacted by the pandemic avoid delinquencies and mortgage foreclosures.
Retirement in Oregon
The average Oregonian has roughly $452,558 set aside for retirement. However, the average resident needs to have closer to $1,062,020 saved up to live comfortably during their retirement years.
Average Oregon insurance premiums
The average homeowner insurance premium in The Beaver State is about $704 a year for $250,000 dwelling coverage. By contrast, the national average is $1,428 a year.
The average full-coverage car insurance premium in Oregon is $1,371 annually. This is a few hundred dollars less than the national average.
Payday lending status in Oregon: Legal
Payday lending is legal in Oregon, but payday lenders are regulated by the state. Here’s what a typical payday loan looks like:
- Maximum loan amount: $50,000
- Maximum Interest Rate (APR): 36%
- Minimum loan term: 31 days
- Maximum loan term: 60 days
Statute of limitations on debt in Oregon
The statute of limitations on most written debt contracts is 6 years in Oregon. This does not apply to all debts, however. For example:
- Medical debt: 6 years
- Credit card: 6 years
- Auto loan debt: 6 years
- Judgments: 10 years
- State tax debt: No limit
State hardship programs
Oregon offers many state-specific hardship programs to help residents struggling financially. These include:
- Oregon Housing Assistance: Oregon housing assistance comes in many forms, ranging from rental assistance programs to energy bill payment assistance. The state also has resources tot help you find affordable rental housing.
- Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants Program: Also called the Section 504 Home Repair program, Oregon offers up to $40,000 in loans or $10,000 in grants for low-income residents seeking to repair or modernize their homes.
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: LIHEAP offers energy cost assistance.
- Children’s Health Insurance Program: CHIP offers low-cost health insurance to pregnant women and children from low-income families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
- SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Also known as “food stamps,” this federally funded program helps low-income residents reduce the cost of food. It also offers food and nutrition-related education. A similar program is the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF), which offers short-term cash assistance.
- Oregon Combined Application Projects: CAPs was designed to help low-income seniors and people with special needs get better access to certain benefits, such as food and nutrition assistance. It lets people apply for food stamps (or SNAP) at the same time they apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- WIC: The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program helps supplement food costs for low-income women with young children, as well as for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
- Programs for Women: The Oregon Health Authority has several programs for women, such as “Diabetes Prevention,” “Breast & Cervical Cancer Treatment Program,” and “Reproductive Health.” Oregon also has resources for those dealing with violence or sexual assault.
- Organization for Refugees and Immigrants: Oregon also has different resources to help immigrants and refugees find employment and adapt to the U.S.
Help for Veterans
Oregon’s currently home to 323,205 veterans. The Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs has a list of services, benefits, and programs for veterans in the state. This includes agency programs, grants, home loans, and employment assistance.
Facilities in Oregon
Here are some of the main VA facilities in Oregon:
- Portland VA Medical Center: 3710 Southwest US Veterans Hospital Road Portland, OR 97239-2964; (503) 220-8262
- Roseburg VA Medical Center: 913 Northwest Garden Valley Boulevard Roseburg, OR 97471-6523; (541) 440-1000
- Eugene VA Clinic: 3355 Chad Drive Eugene, OR 97408-7426; (541) 607-0897
- Lincoln City VA Clinic: 4422 Northeast Devils Lake Boulevard, Suite 2 Lincoln City, OR 97367-5000; (541) 265-0547
- North Bend VA Clinic: 2191 Marion Street North Bend, OR 97459-2314; (541) 756-8002
- Eugene Vet Center: 190 East 11th Avenue Eugene, OR 97401; (541) 465-6918
- Central Oregon Vet Center: 1645 NE Forbes Road Suite 105 Bend, OR 97701; (541) 749-2112
- Portland, OR Vet Center: 1505 NE 122nd Avenue Portland, OR 97230; (503) 688-5361
- Portland Regional Office: 100 SW Main Street 2nd floor Portland Oregon 97204; (800) 827-1000
- Eagle Point National Cemetery: 2763 Riley Rd. Eagle Point, OR 97524; (541) 826-2511
Employment resources for Veterans
Oregon also offers state support for veterans and their families. This includes things like job training, employment resources, and other veteran services. Other options include:
- MilitaryHire.com has helped over 1.4 million vets and qualifying spouses find civilian employment.
- CareerOneStop offers job resources, advice, and an online search portal.
- My Next Move helps military personnel transition into a civilian career that lets them use their military-earned skills.
- Helmets to Hardhats connects ex-military members to work in the construction industry.
- Hiring Our Heroes helps veterans through networking events and job-related materials and resources.
- VeteranRecruiting.com has virtual career fairs for those seeking civilian work.
- Warriors to Work connects veterans and businesses to help them find work.
The bottom line
In Oregon, debt relief options include debt settlement, credit counseling, DIY plans, and more. Whether you need immediate financial relief or are looking for help getting back on your feet, the state also has many hardship programs available. These programs may change, so check the Oregon government website for your current options.
A debt collector can collect most debts for up to six years. Some debts, such as old judgments and state tax debts, are considered “collectible” for 10+ years.
The statute of limitations starts on the date of the last payment.
Oregon is an equitable distribution state, meaning the court will usually split debts and assets based on each spouse’s financial situation. This might not be a 50/50 split, so you could end up having to pay part or all of the debt that belongs to your spouse.