Whether or not your job has been impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, we’re all figuring out how to get through this crisis. Many of us are taking a hard look at our finances—reviewing the money we have coming in and going out while trying to rethink our budgets. This can feel overwhelming, but here are a few simple things you can do now to help you get through.
Reach out to lenders
If you’re having difficulty paying your debts, reach out to your lenders and credit card providers right away. Many offer hardship programs, and some even provide a short grace period if you need to skip a payment. Forbes put together this helpful list of how the (or some) banks are helping.
Figure out which of your bills must be paid immediately and which can wait. Some service providers may be offering assistance or an option to temporarily skip payments.
Look for relief programs
Many states are putting policies in place to help ease your financial burden. You can search for local nonprofit and government services providing emergency food assistance, financial resources, and health guidance through our partner SpringFour. Or you can use United Way’s local 211 search or just dial 211 to speak to someone.
- Reduce spending
Look for places you can cut nonessential and discretionary spending. This can help free up money to cover essentials or start an emergency fund.
- Know what Congress is doing
The United States Congress has so far passed two bills to provide COVID-19 relief: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These bills cover everything from $1,200 stimulus payments to free testing, so we pulled together a few of the points we thought you’d be most interested in.
There’s no one size fits all approach to financially surviving during this time. Doing the above will at least help you get a good look at your options. And if you need help during this time, don’t be afraid to ask. Many people and organizations are stepping up to make sure we all get through this together.
Looking for more information on getting through COVID-19? Check out our full list of resources.
The information in this site, including any third-party content and opinions, is for educational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal, tax, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Oportun product or service to your unique circumstances. Contact your independent financial advisor for advice on your personal situation.