Tips for Handling the Financial Impact of the Coronavirus
May 20, 2020
What you can do if your finances have been affected by the pandemic.
Many Americans are experiencing anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and finances are a big reason why. Fortunately, there are tools and resources available to cope with the uncertainty.
Monitor Your Credit
Scammers will use this time of uncertainty to more easily gain access to your personal information. Monitoring your credit will alert you to any fraudulent activity quickly and get you back in control faster. To help, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion are all offering free weekly access to your credit reports for a year. To get your credit reports, visit annualcreditreport.com. If you spot any errors on these reports, directly notify the credit reporting agencies. Find out more about disputing a report in this article from the Federal Trade Commission.
Stay on Top of Your Debt
Ignoring debt will not help you, even if you're unable to pay. Instead, contact the companies and financial institutions you owe money to. Ask if they can postpone your payment, put you on a payment plan, or give you a temporary forbearance. The recently passed CARES Act generally requires creditors to report accounts with new payment arrangements or temporary forbearance as current.
Review Adjusted Terms
Many financial institutions and even utility companies are offering reduced fees during this time. Familiarize yourself with these adjusted terms.
Look to Your Community for Help
Many community organizations are offering support in various ways. Find out if schools near you are delivering food, if local agencies are providing assistance with government paperwork, or if your university is offering emergency grants.
The Federal Trade Commission has created an online database for those financially impacted by COVID-19. Access this free, high-quality resource here.
Content courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission.
This content is for informational purposes only. Readers should under no circumstances rely upon this information as a substitute for their own research or for obtaining specific advice from their own counsel.