Aid measures are in limbo as people’s bills are still due – CNBC
- September 28, 2020
- By: Greenpath Financial Wellness
Excerpt from CNBC suggests how to navigate the end of COVID-related relief, with insight from GreenPath CEO Kristen Holt.
Even though Congress hasn’t been able to reach a deal on another stimulus package, people still face monthly bills. With a plan, it is possible to manage due dates and reduce financial stress.
The CNBC article notes that since Congress hasn’t been able to reach a deal on another stimulus package, leaving extra unemployment benefits and a second round of direct cash payments in the balance.
CNBC spoke with financial experts, including GreenPath’s CEO Kristen Holt, for ideas to get some control over your finances during these difficult times.
Track Priority Expenses
Experts recommend you make a list of all your bills. At the top should be the things you most need, by priority of housing, safety, phone, food and medicines.
Tracking priority expenses helps people figure out what bills can be put off for a few months, such as certain subscriptions, and what funds are needed to direct limited money toward.
Take Action Early
If you’re struggling to pay for necessities, you want to take action as soon as possible.
Some of the accommodations offered to you are likely to come with better terms than others, said Kristen Holt, CEO of credit counseling agency GreenPath Financial Wellness. That can help you decide which bills to pause and which to try your best to pay.
For example, there’s no downside to taking the coronavirus forbearance for federal student loans that the U.S. Department of Education is offering until January because interest doesn’t accrue on your debt during the reprieve.
Credit card deferrals can be useful, but they are temporary pauses. So even if your bank lets you take a break from your credit card payment or your private student loans, chances are you’ll still rack up interest when payments resume again.
Options to Avoid Eviction
If paying your rent means you won’t be able to afford food or medicine, there are options.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention passed a law that if you’re financially struggling, you should be safe from eviction through the end of the year. You need to meet certain requirements, though, such as expecting to make less than $99,000 in 2020.
Financial counseling is also an option.
We Are Here To Support You
Understanding your options starts with a conversation. Our financial counselors are available to talk. They can help you figure out a plan to manage through a crisis and will walk through your whole financial picture to help you identify options that can relieve stress and make it easier to bounce back.