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:
Our fellow federal regulators and their state counterparts are still working every day to keep our financial system safe. Generally, all bank deposits up to $250,000 are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Deposits at all federal credit unions, and the vast majority of state-chartered credit unions, are also insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). Take care of your finances as usual. If you are in the position to strengthen your financial well-being, read more below about how to take control. You’ll be better prepared for shocks down the road, whether from the pandemic or something else.
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.
Remember, if you ARE struggling, 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. The CFPB and other financial regulators have encouraged lenders to work with their customers during this time.
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. Learn more here.
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.
If You’re Already Behind on Your Bills
Check out these tips for dealing with debt – a stressful experience even under normal circumstances.
If You’re a Financial Caregiver
Those who serve as financial caregivers for older adults or people with disabilities may have unique worries and challenges.
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 or credit union account. Unlike money kept at home, you likely have federal protections if money you’ve deposited are taken illegally and in the unlikely event your institution shuts down. You will always be able to get cash when you need it. The professionals restocking cash machines and moving money across the country are on the job and are considered essential service workers.
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. We also offer a variety of tools including some designed to help you 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.
For more information, please visit: consumerfinance.gov