Tips to Stay on Top of Your Finances During the Coronavirus Pandemic
A lot of people are dealing with serious financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re worried about your finances, but haven’t experienced a loss of income or increased expenses so far, consider the following:
Keep Up with Your Bills - There are ways to get help if you are struggling to pay your bills due to the financial impact of COVID-19. But if you can still pay your bills, you will likely be better off staying on track. Keep in mind that if you decide to use a program that lets you pause or reduce payments, you will still owe the money you have not paid once the program ends.
Keep Your Money Safe - Whether or not you’ve experienced a financial hit, don’t head for the ATM to withdraw more cash than you usually need . Your money is safe in your bank. Unlike money kept at home, you likely have federal protections if money you’ve deposited is taken illegally and is federally insured.
Take Control of Your Finances - Getting money smart is one of the best ways to be ready for any kind of trouble the future might bring. Track your spending, build a budget, pay off your debt, or take stock of your overall financial well-being. And always remember to manage and protect your credit.
Remember, if you ARE struggling during this unpreceded time, you have options.
If you can’t pay your bills:
Don’t hesitate to contact your financial lenders and creditors if you can’t keep up because COVID-19 has cost you income.
If you can’t make your mortgage payments:
The new CARES Act allows homeowners with federally backed loans who are affected by the pandemic to request a forbearance of their mortgage for up to 180 days. The forbearance can be extended for up to an additional 180 days. Private mortgage loans may also offer programs.
If you can’t keep up with your student loans:
The CARES Act also automatically suspends payments on federally-held student loans through September 30, 2020. For help with a student loan other than a federally-held loan, you should contact your servicer to see what options are available to you.