WalletHub: R.I. 4th among states with fewest people in financial distress

RHODE ISLAND was ranked No. 48 among states with the most people in financial distress, according to a new study released by WalletHub. Pictured is the R.I. Statehouse. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ARTISTIC IMAGES

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Islanders have good credit and have their finances under control, according to a new WalletHub study.

The study, “States with the Most People in Financial Distress,” ranked the Ocean State No. 48, making Rhode Island fourth among states with the fewest number of people in financial distress. Rhode Island ranked No. 39 among states with the most people in financial distress the last time the study was done in 2020.

Researchers at the personal finance website analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia and compared them across nine key metrics in six categories: credit score, people with accounts in distress, average number of accounts in distress, change in number of bankruptcy filings in September 2023 vs. September 2022, “debt” search interest index, and “loans” search interest index. 

Data showed that Rhode Island was No. 23 for “loans” search interest index, No. 27 for “debt” search interest index, No. 34 for credit score, No. 38 for average number of accounts in distress, No. 48 for change in bankruptcy filings, and No. 49 for people with accounts in distress. 

Louisiana had the most people in financial distress, according to the study. The state ranked No. 2 both for average number of accounts in distress and for “loans” search interest index, No. 3 for people with accounts in distress, No. 7 for credit score, No. 9 for change in bankruptcy filings, and No. 43 for “debt” search interest index. Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee and Nevada rounded out the top five.

New Hampshire had the fewest people in financial distress, according to the study. The Granite State ranked No. 31 for change in bankruptcy filings, No. 33 for “debt” search interest index, No. 43 for credit score, No. 44 for “loans” search interest index, and No. 51 both for people with accounts in distress and for average number of accounts in distress. 

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Massachusetts had the second-fewest number of people in financial distress, the study showed. The Bay State ranked No. 34 for average number of accounts in distress; No. 37 for credit score; No. 38 for each of the following: people with accounts in distress, change in bankruptcy filings, and “debt” search interest index; and No. 50 for “loans” search interest index. 

Rounding out the New England states, Vermont ranked No. 29, Connecticut ranked No. 43 and Maine ranked No. 49 among states with the most people in financial distress.

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