(The Center Square) – With the unemployment rate hovering over 14 percent in Illinois during the pandemic, a new study shows Illinoisans are one of the most in need of loans in the country.
The personal finance website WalletHub ranked people in Illinois third overall nationwide based on internal credit report data and Google search increases for three loan-related terms.
Analyst Jill Gonzalez said greater interest in getting a loan indicates that more people in the state are struggling to make ends meet. It also implies there may be more strain on the state’s public assistance programs in the near future, and the state may experience a deeper recession than others will.
“We look for all personal loans, as well as specifically payday loans and home equity loans, and Illinois actually ranked number one in terms of it’s home equity loan search interest right now,” Gonzalez said.
Illinoisans searching for payday loans is a red flag in Gonzalez’s mind.
“Searching for payday loans is always concerning. Payday loans are en extremely expensive lending option, as they charge exorbitant interest rates and give consumes very little time to pay the money back” she said.
Gonzalez expects interest in personal loans to grow once federal unemployment benefits expire.
“We have seen it level out over the past couple of months when people are on unemployment and they have these extra benefits,” said Gonzalez. “I think we will see it spike again at the end of the month when the benefits run out.”
New York led the nation for loan searches, while Vermont placed last.