Managing Your Personal Finances During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In these unprecedented times, it’s important to know what resources may be available to you. Check out our list below to learn more.
Paying down debt
Paying down debt is difficult under normal circumstances. The COVID-19 global pandemic, including stay-at-home guidance and social distancing measures, makes it even more challenging. There are a number of resources that might be able to help you with your debt.
Check on your mortgage and life insurance policies to see whether you’re offered payment protection, accident, sickness or unemployment coverage
- If your ability to pay your mortgage is impacted and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments. Learn more about mortgage assistance options.
- Regardless of your situation, if you’re having trouble making payments, contact your mortgage servicer (the company where you send your monthly payments) as soon as possible to let them know about your current circumstances
Paying Student loans
Good news for those with student loan debt: The CARES Act provides some relief for certain loans. Payments on certain federal student loans will automatically stop from March 13, 2020, through at least Sept. 30, 2021.
Paying credit cards
If COVID-19 has had an impact on your personal finances, your credit card or personal loan issuer may give you options for debt relief, such as deferred payments or waived fees. To know for sure, check their website or call their customer support team for more information.
Facing unemployment or underemployment due to COVID-19? Assistance may be available through federal and/or local programs.
- Unemployment Insurance – provides unemployment benefits to those who lose their job through no fault of their own
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance – You may qualify for Disaster Unemployment even if you don’t qualify for other types of unemployment benefits.
- Additional unemployment assistance -You can find additional unemployment assistance near you by filtering by state.
- Department of Labor’s Coronavirus Resources – Visit the DOL for information that can help employers and employees.
Health care coverage
The good news is that most major health insurance carriers, including Medicare and Medicaid, will cover the cost of COVID-19 testing and treatment, but if you still need coverage, read on.
- Affordable Care Act – allows for enrollment if you have a life change (like losing health coverage or having a baby) or if you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- COBRA Continuation Coverage – may be an option if you are experiencing a lapse of employment.
- Medicare and Medicaid benefits – may be available if you meet certain requirements.
You’re probably already aware that the deadline for 2019 federal income and self-employment taxes was shifted from April 15 to July 15, 2020. The 2021 deadline remains April 15. Sadly, criminals are always cooking up ways to scam you out of your refund. To play defense, file your taxes sooner rather than later and remember to never give out your personal information over the phone. The good news is that a tax refund check will probably come in handy in these uncertain times.
If you feel that your debt is getting in the way of your financial priorities, check out these tips on paying off your short-term debt.
This blog post is for informational purposes only. It is based on information available at the time of its writing. Especially in these times, information changes quickly, so always double-check with official sources before relying on anything you read. Please don’t consider this blog post a substitute for legal, medical, health or financial advice — we always recommend working with a qualified and trusted expert.
Last updated Feb 9, 2021.
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