While the are still representing a state of financial distress, Americans have improved their financial situations for the last five quarters, and continued to improve in the second quarter of 2010, says CredAbility’s quarterly Consumer Distress Index.
The index, which qualifies a score below 70 in each of five categories as a level of “distress,” shows that in the second quarter, Americans improved in terms of delinquency rates on mortgages, rental housing and credit card payments. Their ability to meet debt payments on time and align expenses with income helped offset the nation’s high rate of unemployment during the quarter, CredAbility reports.
On an overall basis, U.S. households scored a 69.20 on a scale of 100, showing a slight increase over the first quarter’s score of 68.15, but falling short of 70 and continuing to show a level of distress.
“Many people have made the tough choices needed to live within their means. They are paying their bills on time and getting their expenses in line with their income,” said Mark Cole, executive vice president of CredAbility and author of the index. “Unemployment and underemployment continue to cause hardships for millions of families and weigh heavily on the confidence of the nation. But a positive emerging trend is that families are handling their personal finances more wisely.”
The credit category showed the highest index score at 82.9, while household budget was at 74.2, net worth at 64.7, housing at 69.7, and employment as the most distressed category at 54.4.
The credit score was the highest in four years, CredAbility said.
View the consumer distress index.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker