WalletHub Highlights Most Financially Distressed Cities Amid Pandemic

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every American and billions of other people around the world. That said, the economic impacts that have been a side effect of the outbreak have been felt more in certain American cities. That’s why the personal finance site WalletHub recently compiled a list of the most financially distressed locations amid the pandemic.

To arrange the list WalletHub looked at the 100 largest cities in the United States (with the exclusion of Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky; St. Paul, Minnesota; and St. Petersburg, Florida due to data restrictions) and assessed their overall financial distress across six categories. These included impacts to credit scores, people with accounts in distress, the average number of accounts in forbearance or with deferred payments, and change in the number of bankruptcy filings year over year as well as search interest indices for the terms “debt” and “loans.” For many of these categories, the site compared metrics from January of this year to September — however, for the number of bankruptcy filings, they compared figures from June 2020 to June 2019.

Topping the list is a city that relies heavily on tourism, conventions, events, and other large gatherings: Las Vegas, Nevada. Sin City had a total score of 72.39 (out of 100) despite avoiding a “first place” finish in any particular category. Nevertheless, Vegas ranked second in terms of average number of people in distress and seventh for loan search interest. The city was followed by Chicago’s total score of 70.58. The Windy City tied several other metropolia for the most interest in loan and debt search terms. Meanwhile, three Texas cities — Houston (66.74), San Antonio (65.75), and Dallas (65.50) — finished out the top five.

As for the individual categories, citizens of Indianapolis saw the largest impact on their credit scores during the pandemic followed by those in Oklahoma City and Corpus Christi. In the “People in Distress” category, Austin, Texas topped the list alongside Baton Rouge and Laredo, Texas while Northern Las Vegas joined Las Vegas proper and Reno, Nevada atop the list of “Average Number of Accounts in Distress.” Finally, Des Moines, Iowa was found to have seen the largest year-over-year increase in bankruptcy filings. Other cities to see a spike in filings included Honolulu, Hawaii; Richmond, Virginia; Plano, Texas; and Denver, Colorado.

While there are many economic factors that have contributed to the financial distress that many Americans are experiencing, the pandemic has also brought upon some unique challenges. For example, the closure of many schools has further contributed to these fiscal hardships. As WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez explains, “Closing schools increases the number of people in financial distress because it removes the normal supervision of children during the day and places that burden on parents. Parents, especially those with younger children, may have to stay home from work or hire childcare as a result. Households where both parents work may see a sudden drop in income, but the hardest-hit households will be those with single parents.”

Although many parts of the country are continuing to reopen, fears that a surge in COVID-19 cases could lead to subsequent shut down are still very real. Additionally, it could be some time before a vaccine for the virus is released, meaning that true normalcy could be months if not years away. With that, hopefully Congress can resolve their current issues and pass additional stimulus measures that may offer some financial relief to these hard hit cities and many others across the country.


Also published on Medium.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

Other Articles by Jonathan Dyer

AllWork Raises $4.9 Million From FINTOP Capital 

A FinTech focused on freelancer payroll has closed a significant early-round investment. This week, AllWork announced that it had raised a $4.8 million round. The Series A was led by Nashville-based FINTOP Capital with no other participants. As a result of the transaction, FINTOP's Chris Haley and Rick Holton will join AllWork's board of directors. Previously, AllWork closed a $3.8 million seed round in 2019, bringing their to-date funding total to $8.7...

Top 10 Personal Finance Articles of the Month — November 2022 

It’s time again for one of my favorite features here on Dyer News: a look at the top 10 personal finance articles of the month. Up first, we'll look at money in modern times and how inflation is impacting investments. Then, we'll look at some financial considerations. And finally we'll talk about simple pleasures, donating points and miles, and more. As usual, this month’s list includes a couple of Dyer...

U.S. Economy Added 263,000 Jobs in November 2022

Over the past several months, the United States economy has repeatedly offered mixed signals. Although gross domestic product results would suggest we're headed for a recession, the Federal Reserve has been forced to hike interest rates in a bid to slow inflation. Now, the latest figures also show that the economy continues to create jobs at a decent clip. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the U.S....