The economic havoc wrought by COVID-19 continues unabated. As of May 28, over 40 million people have filed unemployment claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March. That amounts to one out of every four Americans, according to the New York Times.

From payday loans to home equity loans, people are looking for options to relieve the financial pressure they're feeling. Different states, however, are exhibiting different levels of interest. According to WalletHub, greater interest in obtaining a loan indicates that more people in the state are having trouble making ends meet. It also implies an increased strain on the state's public assistance programs, which may result in a deeper recession than other states may experience.

The $2 trillion stimulus package, signed into law in March, contained a provision allowing individuals to withdraw up to $100,000 in retirement assets, including from 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts. That withdrawal would count as a qualified distribution if it is linked to a layoff or a diagnosis as a result of the coronavirus, according to MarketWatch. Investors can opt to take up to $100,000 as a loan from their 401(k), which is an increase from the previous $50,000 maximum. That loan, however is only available to employees with 401(k) plans. Advisers strongly suggest taking advantage of these provisions only in a most dire situation. "Neither is a great option," Eric Reich, president of Reich Asset Management, told MarketWatch. "It's something you want to go to last."

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Richard Binder

Richard Binder, based in New York, is part of the social media team at ALM. He is also a 2014 recipient of the ASPBE Award for Excellence in the Humorous/Fun Department.