In addition to changing our way of life and impacting the health of millions of people, the COVID-19 pandemic also has impacted the economy as more than 30 million Americans have filed for financial assistance.
With this level of need and given the states have been overwhelmed with claims, there is a delay between filing and receipt of assistance. This has led to severe economic hardship for many families.
If you are experiencing economic hardship, I want to provide you with some resources that may help you to bridge the financial gap during this time.
There is hope, because many companies have implemented COVID-19 financial hardship programs. In this post, I share seven areas where you may be able to obtain economic relief:
- Auto Loans. Call your auto loan provider and ask them if they have a program to assist with COVID-19 economic hardship. The details will vary by company, but some companies like Ally are providing payment deferment for up to 120 days. The payments will be waived now, but added to the end of the loan and interest will still accrue. However, if you are concerned about a future layoff, reduction of hours, furlough, or if you are laid off right now, then call your auto loan provider to see what you may qualify for. This will help you to free up your cash to provide for the essentials and will prevent you from falling behind on your auto loan should an economic disruption happen.
- Student Loans. If you have a federal student loan, then through the CARES Act, your payment has been automatically suspended through September 30, 2020, and interest will not accrue. For private loans, forbearance varies by company. Therefore, call to inquire about economic relief options.
- Credit card payments. Some banks are deferring payments and waiving fees due to COVID-19. The available relief will vary by company, so call or visit the company’s website to learn what is available. If you decide to call, be prepared for long hold times as many people are seeking options for economic support.
- Cell Phone. Some cell phone companies have suspended account disconnections, waived overage fees, late payment fees, and are deferring payments. Please note that if you defer a payment, you may have to pay the missed payment as soon as payments resume, which means you may have to pay multiple months at once. Therefore, if possible, put the money aside in a savings account so you have all of the money when it becomes due.
- Mortgage. Some banks are deferring mortgage payments. Check out this post to learn how some banks are providing mortgage assistance through deferring payments and waiving fees. If you have a loan that is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, then check out this link to learn what assistance may be available for you. If you are a renter and live in a rental unit financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, then you may have resources available to you, too.
- Waive bank fees. Some banks are waiving bank fees to help customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of banks are waiving fees such as late fees, overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees and more. Click here to check out a great Forbes article that lists the banks offering COVID-19 relief to customers. The good news is that banks aren’t the only places waiving fees. Other companies are, as well. Therefore, check your statements for fees and then call and ask for them to be removed.
- Apps to help you save. Using cash back apps to purchase essential goods can also be a source of economic relief during COVID-19. These apps will help you earn cash back on your spending, which helps to stretch your dollars further. Click here for six apps to help you save money on your everyday shopping. Every bit counts.
I hope that this list is helpful to you and gives you some ideas for where you may be able to get a little more breathing room in your finances.
Please leave a comment to let me know how this helps you and to share other resources that may help someone in need.