Website names Greenfield best place to pay off debt

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Staff Writer
Published: 11/11/2019 11:01:54 PM

GREENFIELD — A money management website has named Greenfield as the best place in Massachusetts to pay off debt.

Median monthly housing costs, unemployment levels, median income and the percentage of people who typically work from home or get to work without a car were the ranking factors considered by JackieBeck.com, a website started by its namesake to help people wrestle their lives back from debt collectors. The site lists the top city or town in each state in which “it should be easiest to pay off debt.”

According to the website, Greenfield’s median family income is $76,112 and median monthly housing costs are $1,044. Five percent of workers walk to work, while 0.8 percent take public transportation, 0.5 percent ride bicycles to work and 8.2 work from home. Unemployment in the city is 3.8 percent.

Greenfield Mayor William Martin said he had not heard of Greenfield’s ranking, but was happy the city received accolades.

“We know Greenfield is a gem,” he said.

Martin said the city’s affordable housing and low unemployment rate provide a boost to discretionary income, or money left over once bills are paid. This, he said, allows people to pay down or pay off debt. He also said financial institutions, like PowerDownDebt Inc. in nearby Turners Falls, and social services help people better manage their debt.

The list of the best places in which to pay off debt, and some related statistics about each winning location, can be found at: bit.ly/2Kb5Nke.

Beck, who lives with her husband in Phoenix, Ariz., said she took data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s five-year American Community Survey, which gathered information from 942 areas of the United States, including seven in Massachusetts, to get her results. She said a decent average income and reasonable housing costs make a location a prime spot for paying off debt. She also said the ability to live without a vehicle is a huge help because that will free up money typically spent on car payments, insurance and gas.

Beck said she and her husband paid off roughly $147,106 in debt (including a mortgage and about $52,000 in consumer debt) in 2013. She has been writing about personal finance since 2006.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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