Stacey Abrams is delivering the Democrats’ official response to the State of the Union tonight. What is her net worth? Unlike many other people who run for office, Abrams has a very low net worth. In fact, during her campaign for governor, the subject of discussion was her debt, not how much she was worth.
1. Her Net Worth Is About $110,000, Including a Book Advance
Abrams’ net worth includes a $150,000 advance for a book she’s writing about leadership. AJC also noted that in the past, she’s written some romance novels under the pseudonym Selena Montgomery.
2. She Has $50,000 in IRS Debt
Abrams’ low net worth is due to debt that includes $50,000 to the IRS, AJC reported. The tax debt comes from deferring her payments in 2015 to 2016 so she could help her family with expenses. She’s now on a payment plan with the IRS to pay off the rest of her debt. She said she sends the IRS $1,000 a month, Money.com noted.
But her debt shouldn’t disqualify Abrams from office. In fact, her financial challenges help her understand the average American much better.
3. She Has About $170,000 in Additional Debt
She also has about $170,000 in additional debt. This includes $76,000 in credit card debt plus $96,000 for student loans for attending Yale Law School.
She said some of her credit card debt came from when she attended Spelman College, and also from when she needed to help her elderly parents after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She wrote on Medium, “When I got to Spelman College, I received my first credit cards, unaware that those cards were yoked to something called a credit score,” she said. “I often used them to pay for the basics related to school and to help my family with their expenses, but when I missed making a payment or my payments were late, my credit score suffered. Modest sums became major, and it took years to settle those debts. Worse, the impact on my credit score — to get a good mortgage, to buy a car — lasted even longer.”
4. Her Assets Include a Townhouse & About $11,000 in Cash & Bank Accounts
Her assets add up to about $520,000, including a townhouse in Atlanta and a book advance. In terms of money quickly on hand, she only had about $11,000 in cash and bank accounts. But she’s had a good salary as a lawyer, she wrote on Medium, “but income and wealth are not the same things.”
5. Part of Her Debt Happened When She Helped Her Parents Survive an Emergency
She wrote on Medium, “Income gets you through bad days; wealth can take you through tough years. I learned the stark difference in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi, where my parents live. The storm ravaged the community, and the church they pastored could no longer afford to pay a full salary. A year later, my parents stepped in to take custody of my newborn niece, Faith, while still trying to get back on their feet. Like thousands of Georgians who have responded to crisis, I stepped in and took on what I could. I covered my parents’ health insurance and medicines, paid their living expenses and helped them take care of Faith. To do so, I rearranged my financial life and stretched every penny I had.”
The reality, she said, is we will all make financial mistakes. But we must own up to them and correct them. The future’s unpredictable, she wrote, and emergencies can happen to anyone.