"We have a lot of dual income families, so there's a good chance of earning a good wage."
It turns out McPherson County residents aren't just good at managing credit card debt.
The latest study released by SmartAsset shows that people in McPherson County are pretty good at managing auto loans and home mortgages as well, ranking the county third in Kansas for total debt as it relates to income.
"I think it speaks to the quality of our employment options in the county," said Brad Bengtson, vice president of commercial loans with Home State Bank. "We have a lot of dual income families, so there's a good chance of earning a good wage."
The study compared per-capita income to per-capita debt in credit cards, auto loans and home mortgages. McPherson County maintains its number one spot in the credit card debt category, with credit cards accounting for 6.5 percent of a person's income on average.
"Part of that is making sure you manage your credit card debt in a timely manner, and making sure you can afford more than just the minimum payment," Bengtson said.
McPherson County took the number two spot in the automotive debt category, which accounts for 10.4 percent of a person's income. Bengtson said budgeting 10 percent of income for a vehicle is a reasonable amount.
"The key is to pay it off, within five years if you can," he said.
Despite a stellar performance in the first two categories, McPherson County's mortgage figures are a little more lackluster. The average county resident allocates 59.5 percent of income to mortgage payments, dropping the county's statewide ranking to 19th in that category.
"That's very high. Keeping your monthly mortgage payment to 40 percent of your income or less is what I recommend," Bengtson said. "A mortgage is always going to take more of your income."
For those who want to reduce their debt or even eliminate debt completely, Bengtson recommends setting a monthly budget and sticking to it.
"Eliminate or reduce any non-fixed expenses, things that aren't necessities," he suggested. "You have to pay utility bills and rent, so look at areas that are more flexible, where you can change how much you spend."
For more information on the SmartAsset study, visit https://smartasset.com/personal-loans/personal-loan-rates?year=2016#Kansas