By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Personal finance website WalletHub.com recently surveyed 100 major US cities and found Miami amongst the most financially distressed due to COVID-19.

The COVID economic squeeze has played on the minds of South Florida residents.

From social distancing slowing down down the restaurant business service and industry workers impacted by the ravaged tourism economy.

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Even though the vaccines are now at play, shots in the arms are slow in coming.

So using data generated by internet inquiries in the Miami area, WalletHub.com produced a survey detailing concerns and establishing a distress profile for the area.

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez says, ‘I would say Miami, unfortunately, is under a lot of financial distress because of COVID-19.”

According to the data, Miami is 22nd in the nation for changes in credit score, 14th in bankruptcy filings, 8th for people searching for information on loans, sixth for share of people with accounts in distress, and number one for online searches that involved the word debt.

“Essentially, we gauged interest for a lot of these keywords and one of them was ‘debt’ that is where Miami was number one in the keywords linked to debt. So, that means credit card debt, mortgage debt, auto debt,” Gonzalez said.

“You add all those things together it does lead to homelessness and food insecurity,” she adds.

CBS4 cameras captured long lines across South Florida for food distribution, as debt-impacted residents lined up for food and cash gift cards. A lifeline for many, hence the online search for answers was a way out.

“There are a lot of people that are scared, a lot of people don’t know what 2021 will hold for them,” Gonzalez adds.

According to the website, 69% of Americans say they would find it somewhat difficult or very difficult to meet financial obligations if one paycheck was delayed a week.

Many in South Florida are not getting a paycheck at all.

Here are the top 10 US cities in most financial distress during the global pandemic, according to WalletHub:

1 Las Vegas, NV
2 Phoenix, AZ
3 Chicago, IL
4 Miami, FL
5 San Antonio, TX
6 Los Angeles, CA
7 Fort Worth, TX
8 Houston, TX
9 Dallas, TX
10 Austin, TX

Click here to read the WalletHub.com study.