As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s possible that you are finding yourself or your business in need of financial help. Thankfully, if you or your business has been impacted by COVID-19, there are a number of resources that you can turn to for support.
Economic Impact Payments
Economic Impact Payments or EIP have changed and evolved as the pandemic has continued. The IRS is keeping a running list of updates and resources about EIP and you can check IRS.gov for the latest information. In general, individuals and couples who meet certain income threshold are eligible for direct payments and should start to see those additional payments soon. You do not have to take any action to receive the payments and they will be direct deposited or a paper check will be issued depending on what you have on file with the IRS.
Credit Cards or Other Loans
If you find yourself unable to make payments on your credit cards or other loans, it is recommended that you talk to your lender immediately and directly. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends reaching out as soon as you know that you are going to struggle to make the payments. The sooner the better. There should be a variety of resources available directly from your lender.
As with other payments, if you find that you are not going to be able to make your auto payment, you should contact your lender directly. The CFPB has provided a number of guidances to lenders on how they can help people struggling to pay their auto loans.
In general, there should be options for skipping some payments and/or extending your loan.
The federal government has created a number of temporary programs to help small businesses including nonprofits, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and people who are self-employed.
The Paycheck Protection Program or PPP is one example and it is designed to cover payroll costs and select other expenses. This could include things like mortgages, rent, and utilities. You can learn more about the options here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
If you are one of the millions of Americans you has lost their job or income, there are options in the form of unemployment insurance. Unemployment programs are run by the individual states and can be complicated. Refer to your state’s unemployment resources to learn more about your state’s program.
If you become unemployed, do not wait to contact your local unemployment office. While there might be a delay, the sooner you file, the sooner your benefits will start. You can also use the Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop to get more information about unemployment insurance and find links to job options, training, and career options.
If you are concerned about being able to make your mortgage payments, the CFPB and other organizations are working to provide assistance to renters and homeowners. There is a lot of information and resources available on the following:
- Mortgage forbearance to temporarily pause payments or reduce your interest rate
- Protections for renters including information on evictions
- Housing Counselors who can help you navigate your options
Some states and localities have paused evictions so check with your local government for more information.
The CFPB’s website has a lot of resources on student loans including details about loan forbearance, loan deferment, loan defaults and more. These resources detail both private and federal loans.
There is also an extensive library of information provided by the Department of Education about things like 0% interest rates, payment suspensions and due dates, federal aid applications, income driven repayment and more.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted everyone differently and the CFPB has outlined a variety of other resources that could be helpful depending on your situation. They details food assistance programs, COVID-related scams to watch for, resources for the elderly and more.
If you have questions about what is available for you, the experts at MCK can help. Reach out today!