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Kansas ranked one of the most financially distressed state during COVID-19

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:17 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A WalletHub study ranks Kansas eighth-highest in the country for people in financial distress during COVID-19.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and Washington D.C. across nine key metrics -- including average credit score, change in the number of bankruptcy filings between January and July, and people with accounts in distress.

From January to July, Kansas was the state with the ninth-most bankruptcy filings.

Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with WalletHub, said people should be aware if they don’t manage their debts and there is a correlation between states with higher unemployment rates and accounts with past due or deferred payments.

“There certainly were more bankruptcy filings within the past few months or so. I think that means people are kind of seeing what’s going on around them and trying to plan long term and they are getting a jump on filing for bankruptcy before it may be too late,” said Gonzalez.

She believes another federal stimulus package, like the CARES Act, could help many Americans based on the findings of the study.

“Well when it comes to more benefits or a stimulus plan it really does fall on the federal government and unfortunately we’re not seeing much movement there in terms of getting enough people more money to stay afloat or unemployment benefits,” she said. “Unfortunately even if that does happen, I don’t think it’s going to be as big of a stimulus package as the last one we saw.”

Despite the state’s top-ten ranking, Gonzalez says rural jobs are faring better than urban areas.

“I think it’s a state wide thing. We’re not necessarily looking at the number of people or what kind of community. When we’re talking about unemployment we’re talking more about industries,” she said. “We actually have industries that are doing pretty well, you know, if you’re looking at agriculture and manufacturing those are thriving right now. A lot of the more white-collar businesses that are not.”

The study ranked Louisiana and Nevada as most financially distressed with Vermont coming in least-stressed.

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