debt

Frankie Leon / Flickr

A new study says South Floridians are swimming in credit card debt. Maybe drowning in it.

CreditCards.com, a self-described “online credit card marketplace,” looked at average debt versus median income for 25 major metropolitan areas to determine a region’s credit card debt burden.

The Miami metropolitan area had the fourth worst debt burden in the country.

Trianons Oficial/flickr

Bills filed in the Florida House and Senate would require high school students to take a one-semester financial literacy course. But with just three weeks left in the legislative session, the proposals (House bill 29 and Senate bill 92)  haven’t been discussed by committees.

A few years back, James Nelms opened his own debt collection business. He didn't have a fancy resume, or much money. He was an ex-con whose siblings staked him $10,000 to get his business up and running.

This isn't as odd as it may seem. Many debt collection agencies are small businesses, eking out a living in storefront shops. A few years back, when the world was going wild for debt, lots of people were getting into the business. All that debt meant lots of money to be collected.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

To get a student loan at Broward College, you’ve got to sit through a two-hour financial lesson with Kent Dunston first.

At times, it’s a little like “Scared Straight!” – that 1978 documentary about setting juvenile delinquents on the right path -- but for your credit score.

Dunston’s first piece of advice – figure out how much money you’re going to need.

“You’re not going to borrow more than that amount of money,” he told the students. “You’ll be offered more. You don’t need it.”

Flickr / Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación

Argentina is no stranger to financial crisis. But an unprecedented drama is playing out there this summer, one that could alter the rules in global debt markets – and boost the sales in South Florida condo markets, as more Argentines look for safer places to put their money amid the turmoil.

At issue is $100 billion: the mountain of sovereign debt Argentina defaulted on in 2001 amid a horrific economic collapse. It was the largest default in history.

U.S. Federal Reserve / Truth In Accounting

The debate in Congress over raising the debt ceiling was focused on the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. That's a huge number that has been increasing rapidly since the Great Recession. The chart above from the U.S. Federal Reserve shows the federally reported public debt jumping from $6 trillion after the 2001 recession to almost $17 trillion this fall.