More Rogue Valley residents are turning to credit counseling, Medford agency says

MEDFORD, Ore. — When it comes to debt, one community agency in the Rogue Valley is seeing more people turn to credit counseling to help.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern Oregon said it’s seen a 66 percent increase in requests for student loan counseling, with nearly 90 percent of clients for the very first time.

“Unemployment, COVID, it’s due to the fires and just general, family issues,” said CEO Bill Ihle. “Medical debt has a lot to do with it also.”

Ihle said more than 80 percent of their clients come from a low-income setting. Last year, that number was in the mid-70s. He said most people asking for help were financially stable before 2020 and are looking to get back on track after the past year.

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