We know that folks are struggling. When our database referrals jump from an average of 2,500 a day to 2,700 a day in just a few months, overall conditions aren’t improving. It can be hard to understand the magnitude of consumer debt and net worth issues.

Sometimes a picture can illustrate what words never can.

Our clients at CredAbility have a map that shows what they call their Consumer Distress Index. It measures the financial condition of the average U.S. household.

Let us summarize it for you. Unless you live in North Dakota, your state distress level is a best weak. Many states are at the “distressed” level. And the poor folks in Nevada? Emergency crisis level.

We see glimmers of hope around. From a realtor’s “SOLD” sign in our neighbor’s yard, to lower interest rates for mortgages, to the “winter that wasn’t” that’s sure to lower utility costs–times are a-changing. But with more people looking for help than ever before, we cross our fingers that things are changing for the better.