New Year, New Opportunities to Take Charge of Debt – Michigan Chronicle

  • January 29, 2021
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

As part of GreenPath’s Millennial Money Series, the Michigan Chronicle looks at the path to managing debt – and keeping track of changes in policies.

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With the early weeks of the Biden-Harris administration, how will your finances be impacted?

President Biden recently outlined a $1.9 trillion economic relief plan that, if confirmed by Congress, would provide an additional $1,400 in relief payments to eligible adults and children, extend emergency unemployment benefits through September, extend a federal moratorium on evictions through September and provide $30 billion in additional aid to renters.

The bill included other extensions – extending student loan deferrals until Oct 1, 2021, eviction protections and other relief.

How should households best utilize the stimulus package passed late December as well as additional relief potentially afforded by the Biden relief plan if it is finalized?

GreenPath suggests that households first use stimulus funds to take care of essential needs (housing, medicine, food/water, electricity, etc.). Once these expenses are covered, use stimulus to establish emergency savings.

GreenPath’s stimulus guide can help people understand stimulus eligibility and track payment: get-your-stimulus-check/.


GreenPath has partnered with the Michigan Chronicle for a six-installment Millennial Money series designed to help millennials become better stewards of their finances.


Setting and Keeping Financial Goals

“January is often our busiest call volume month as people come to grips with their spending and make resolutions to become financially fit,” says GreenPath CEO, Kristen Holt. “As women and workers of color bore the brunt of lost jobs last month, we are confident that the stimulus will provide needed relief for many, many households. Many of our bank and credit union partners are continuing to offer hardship assistance when requested. Yet, we advise our clients that this assistance and relief is temporary, and that forbearance is not forgiveness. The sooner borrowers make a plan to tackle their debt and prepare to stick to that plan, the better.”

Now’s a good time to acknowledge if debt has become a challenge. Does the individual only pay the minimum monthly payment? Use credit card cash advances to pay bills? Is maxed out or over the limit on credit cards? Is receiving collection calls? If the answer to these questions is “yes”, the individual should first outline the amount of debt owed. Using a debt calculator will give further insight.

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GreenPath’s experts can walk you through your options. 91% of people served by GreenPath feel better prepared to handle their finances. Together let’s make a plan for managing your full financial picture to support your goals.