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The following study was published by WalletHub, and is reprinted with permission:

With a record 10 million Americans losing their jobs in March and government assistance checks likely to start going out this week or next, WalletHub today released its report on the States Where People Need Loans the Most Due to Coronavirus. Greater interest in getting a loan indicates that more people in the state are struggling to make ends meet.

In order to determine where people are most in need of loans as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub combined internal credit report data with data on Google search increases for three loan-related terms in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.

States Where People Need Loans the Most States Where People Need Loans the Least
1. South Carolina 42. Idaho
2. District of Columbia 43. Iowa
3. Virginia 44. Nebraska
4. Alabama 45. West Virginia
5. New York 46. New Mexico
6. Florida 47. Utah
7. Pennsylvania 48. Vermont
8. Massachusetts 49. Montana
9. Georgia 50. Wyoming
10. California 51. North Dakota

CLICK HERE to view the full report and your state’s rank.

WalletHub Q&A

Hawaii has the highest search interest in payday loans out of all the states. Is this concerning?

“Searching for payday loans is always concerning. Payday loans are an extremely expensive lending option, as they charge exorbitant interest rates and give consumers very little time – until their next paycheck – to pay the money back,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “While many people take out payday loans out of desperation or because they have bad credit, there are safer loan options available to most people.”

New York currently has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. How has that correlated with residents’ need for loans?

“New York ranks 5th for overall interest in loans during the pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The types of loans that people in New York are looking for most are home equity loans, which are best for homeowners who want the lowest possible interest rates.”

North Dakota residents are least desperate for loans during the pandemic. How does this line up with how they have been affected economically?

“It makes sense that people in North Dakota are searching for loans the least during the pandemic. North Dakota’s economy is the 25th least affected by coronavirus, according to recent WalletHub studies,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Since North Dakota is struggling less than many other states are, its citizens naturally have less need for loans.”

What can people who don’t have enough cash do during the pandemic?

“There are several measures that people who don’t have enough cash can take during the pandemic. To start, contact your creditors and other monthly billers, explain your situation, and ask how they can help. Most companies and landlords recognize these are unusually trying times, and they’re taking steps to help customers who ask for it,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Beyond that, people who receive a stimulus check from the government should use it wisely, by only paying bills that absolutely can’t be put off. People who find themselves out of work should also apply for unemployment insurance, which has increased payments and eligibility because of the stimulus package.”

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