At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s unemployment rate soared to 15%, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fallout on American workers was immediate, as many lost their wages or saw their wages drop overnight. Overall, however, across much of the country, the economic damage from the pandemic has not turned out to be as devastating as many initially predicted.
The majority of Americans have felt a lack of money, but various surveys show mixed results. Partly because of government stimulus measures, extended unemployment benefits and a more vigilant eye on spending, Americans appear to have weathered the economic crisis fairly well – at least so far.
According to the nonprofit think tank Urban Institute, most Americans have consolidated their bank accounts and controlled their spending. The median amount of debts collected nationwide increased by just $ 16 between February and October 2020, from $ 1,833 to $ 1,849 – although that amount varies by state.
In Kansas, the median amount of debt in collection edged up from $ 1,746 to $ 1,751 between February and October 2020. The change ranks as the 27th largest increase among the 30 states to report an increase in median debt at collection agencies.
Although the typical amount of debt in collection increased in Kansas during the first few months of the pandemic, other important financial indicators have improved. Probably in large part due to certain provisions of the CARES law, the mortgage default rate fell from 2.3% in February 2020 to 1.5% in October 2020. The law, which was passed in March 2020 , stipulated that federally-backed lenders suspend collection of mortgages. single-family home borrowers if they faced financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
All data for this story comes from the Urban Institute’s “Credit health during the COVID-19 pandemic” report.
|State||Change in median debt in collection ($)||Median debt in collection, Feb. 2020 ($)||Median debt in collection, Oct 2020 ($)|
|Oklahoma||+120||2 122||2 242|
|Texas||+61||2 102||2 163|
|Georgia||+35||1 948||1 983|
|South Dakota||+11||2 201||2 212|
|Idaho||-45||2 307||2 262|
|Caroline from the south||-100||2 197||2,097|