How Kansas’ Consumer Debt Changed During The Pandemic Kansas


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.

StateChange in median debt in collection ($)Median debt in collection, Feb. 2020 ($)Median debt in collection, Oct 2020 ($)
Oklahoma+1202 1222 242
Alaska+1082,0732,181
Nebraska+922,0032,095
Nevada+832 1322,215
Utah+751,8911 966
Missouri+731 9482,021
Mississippi+7117741,845
Washington+6217941,856
Texas+612 1022 163
California+541,8421,896
New Hampshire+541,6741,728
Vermont+461,7021,748
Maryland+411,5691,610
Florida+392 1862,225
Alabama+361,9171,953
Georgia+351 9481 983
Louisiana+351,8991,934
Massachusetts+351,5491,584
Wyoming+312,4782,509
Iowa+3016471,677
Virginia+2817761,804
Minnesota+2717001,727
Illinois+251,5471,572
Tennessee+121,9471,959
South Dakota+112 2012 212
Rhode Island+917941,803
Kansas+51,7461,751
Oregon+21,5401,542
Arizona+12,0512,052
Pennsylvania+11,8211,822
Maine-31,6941,691
new York-51,7551750
New Jersey-71,3791372
Arkansas-81,6711,663
Indiana-161,8721,856
Kentucky-2713421315
Ohio-291,5291,500
New Mexico-3717611,724
Montana-381,8371,799
Delaware-441,8911,847
Colorado-451,6821,637
Idaho-452 3072 262
Michigan-511,5531,502
West Virginia-6216431,581
Hawaii-731,9991,926
Connecticut-791,6251,546
Caroline from the south-1002 1972,097
North Carolina-1021,6701,568
Wisconsin-1481,8541706
North Dakota-2442,1581,914


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