There can be very few American families who are not financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and finding difficult to manage money during Coronavirus pandemic. The key to finding financial protection from Coronavirus is to recognize them and face them.
The first way to manage money during Coronavirus Pandemic is to make a list! Yes, we know, that is what they all say! The reason is, that it is the best way! If you don’t do it now, do it soon! (put a note on the refrigerator door NOW).
- List all your regular outgoings too, lenders (mortgage, auto loans, credit cards, other loans, e.g. stores)
- Estimate your monthly outgoings (in cash and by credit card)
- Make a note of anticipated expenses/purchases
That was the easy part! NOW
- Names and telephone numbers + contact name if you know one
- What can you save?
- Is it really necessary now? Can you cancel your order?
Take a rest, but set aside time to make those calls. The sooner you make them the more likely it is that your lenders or creditors will agree to help by delaying or spreading payments.
A Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB) survey highlights the confusion and uncertainty that we all feel in the face of the pandemic. Almost 40 million American citizens are seeking unemployment benefits. The CFPB is encouraging financial institutions to work with their customers and recognize their obligations to the communities they serve.
If you feel you have been unfairly treated you should contact the CPFB directly.
Most of us depend on our credit cards for paying our day to day expenses so it makes sense to protect this vital source of finance. Credit card companies and other lenders usually have some flexibility to help customers in difficult times such as these. They may waive certain fees. E.g. ATM, overdraft, and late payment fees. More importantly, they may delay, adjust, or allow you to miss some payments. You never know unless you ask. Try to make arrangements that enable you not to fall behind in your payments or go over your agreed credit limit.
Before you call, do 2 things
- check their web site to see what is already in place to customers in a similar position
- make sure you have your own details, plans, (1a,1b above), and any recent correspondence from your supplier.
Whenever you contact a lender be prepared with the details: –
- Your financial and employment situation (current and anticipated)
- Your income, expenses, and assets
- Your best estimate of when you will be able to resume regular payments
- A realistic assessment of what you can afford