What Everyone Needs to Know
Funds are likely to be tight for everyone at this time and protecting your credit and finances takes smart decision making. Here are some tips.
Credit Card: Because loans and credit cards are reported monthly to credit agencies, avoid being declared delinquent by paying at least the minimum due each month. If you can, call the credit card issuer BEFORE payments are overdue. Some companies may be willing to forego penalty fees or work out a long-term payment plan.
Mortgage: Pay the monthly mortgage in full, if possible, to avoid being declared delinquent. If unable to pay, call your lender BEFORE payment is due – ask if your mortgage is eligible for any of the federal mortgage assistance programs that have just been created.
Student Loans: Due to the CARES Act, most federal student loans are now set at 0% interest and no payments are due until September 30, 2020.
NOTE: If you are able to pay, do so since there will be no interest charges during this time and all funds will be used to lower the amount owed— which will save you money.
Utility Expenses: If you think you won’t be able to pay your utility, rent, or cable company, call the service BEFORE the bills are due to work out a payment plan.
Emergency $$$: If you are short on funds, use a credit card, NOT a pay day or other quick cash lender. Credit cards are the quickest, safest, and most affordable way to respond in an emergency. The average interest rate on a credit card is 19%, while the average real interest rate on a payday loan is 400%.
Taxes: If you have not filed your 2019 taxes with the IRS you need to fill out this form on their website to receive your Economic Impact Payment under the Federal Stimulus, here: irs.gov.