Ewa is located within the City of Honolulu, just a few miles west of the airport. It features some of the most picturesque vistas in the United States and nearly perfect weather, year round. It’s home to a number of world class golf courses and is located just a couple miles from Naval Station Pearl Harbor, one of the Navy’s largest installations and the historic site of the Pearl Harbor bombing by the Japanese on December 7, 1941.
As part of the City of Honolulu, Ewa Beach has one of the most bulletproof city economies anywhere in the country. As one of the premier tourist destinations in the world, the city of 340,000 generates over $10 billion per year from tourism alone, with more than 5,000,000 annual visitors. This easily makes the city the most lucrative tourist destination in the U.S., adjusted for population size.
But Honolulu isn’t a single industry town. Far from it, the city’s location in the Mid-Pacific makes it a natural strategic waypoint for trade between the East Asian economies and the West Coast of the United States. The city also has two major military installations in Naval Station Pearl Harbor and Marine Corps Base Honolulu. Combined, these outposts house tens of thousands of military personnel at any given time and create a huge consumer base on the Island of Oahu. The city also has a strong manufacturing sector and many financial companies have their headquarters or major branches there.
All of this adds up to one of the strongest economies of any major U.S. city. Ewa Beach’s current unemployment rate mirrors that of Honolulu as a whole. At just 2.8 percent, the city contends each year for the title of lowest unemployment rate among America’s 50 largest cities.
The city also has phenomenally low crime. While Ewa Beach is safer than just 12 percent of U.S. municipalities, including towns and villages, it’s safer than nearly all major U.S. cities. One consequence of such idyllic surroundings and high levels of safety is that real estate prices have soared to among the highest levels of anyplace in the country. With the median home price being over $660,000, the greater Honolulu area is not very affordable for working class employees. The high real estate prices also contribute to extremely high rents, with the average one bedroom apartment going for over $2,200 per month. All this adds up to a city with one of the highest costs of living in the U.S.
However, Ewa Beach residents still have almost non-existent unemployment. For those who have owned homes since 2008, their net worth has skyrocketed as the Honolulu housing market has come roaring back with a vengeance seen in few other local markets since the Great Recession.
All this adds up to a city with one of the best economic situations anywhere in the country. Between living in a tropical paradise and enjoying more economic opportunities than any other major city, right outside their front doors, Ewa Beach residents have it pretty good.
But even Ewa Beach residents sometimes run into financial trouble. For those who find themselves drowning in debt or struggling under the weight of extreme daily costs of living, declaring Chapter 7 is tempting. But it’s often the worst option. For many, debt settlement can be a far more attractive alternative that can reap many of the rewards of bankruptcy without the terrible costs.
Who can debt settlement help in Ewa Beach, Honolulu?
Debt settlement can provide a way for some who are considering bankruptcy to quickly exit from debt and remain debt free. In general, there are three main criteria that should be met for debt settlement to be considered. First, the debtor should have unsecured consumer debt. Things such as student loans, alimony and child support can never be settled without the government signing off, and they typically can’t be settled at all. Any company claiming to be able to dispense government backed debts is likely a scam and should be avoided.
Second, the debtor should have a written budget that he knows ahead of time will prevent a recurrence of the debt run-up. One of the most frequent criticisms heard regarding debt settlement is that it addresses only the symptoms, not the disease. This is why it’s extremely important to modify any errant habits that led to the debt accumulation. If the underlying cause isn’t stopped dead in its tracks, uncontrollable debt will surely start running away again, as soon as the debtor is back in the black.
Finally, the debtor’s income level should be high enough relative to the debt amount that they are likely to finish the program within a maximum of three years. Any longer, and the costs of staying in debt start to outweigh the costs of declaring bankruptcy. For example, if someone has medical bills in the mid-six-figures but only $25,000 a year in income, bankruptcy would be the only viable option.
If all these conditions are met, debt settlement will likely create a path to becoming debt free with virtually none of the horrible long-term consequences of bankruptcy.