Each day we are learning more and more regarding how creditors and other companies you may owe money to are dealing with this pandemic. Even if you are not struggling now, there is a real sense of urgency to make sure you have enough money saved up in case you lose your job or become ill.
Or, for those of us that are self-employed, you may be wondering what you can be doing in these tough times. Well, the answer is to make a list of anyone you owe money to and make a phone call now. Or, many times you can apply online for faster and easier response times. Check out relief options below:
The good news is that even if you have not lost your job, most mortgage companies are allowing you to defer or lessen your payments for a minimum of three months. If you opt to defer your mortgage payments, this typically means that your extra payments will be tacked on to the back of your loan. This means if you aren’t required to pay the next three months, those three months will be added on to the life of your loan.
No mortgage? Make sure you stay in contact with your landlord and ask for assistance before falling behind. Most will help make arrangements with you considering the current situation. All foreclosures and evictions are waived through the end of April as well, per the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Car Loan Relief
This is the same as your mortgage payment. However, most car loan companies are offering between one to three months in deferred payments. The same concept goes as above, the extra months will be added on to the back of your loan. Interest can accrue during this time and possibly extra fees. Usually not, however, but it is something to ask about.
Unemployment for Self-Employed Workers/Independent Contractors
No, you didn’t read this wrong. This is still a topic that is up for discussion with each state. The consensus is that your state will now allow you to file for unemployment- even if you are self-employed or an independent contractor. It does not hurt to try! At least get your application done so you are on the list if it does get approved.
Again, for those of us that are self-employed, you can now apply for a Small Business Administration loan to help while you are down and out. $376 billion is available for workers and small business owners. Make sure you have a legitimate company that is filed with your state, county or city and if you don’t have a tax EIN, use your social security number. https://covid19relief.sbaa.gov/#/
More options are available at SBA.Gov website: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
Lastly, do not forget about other creditors- credit card companies, utility companies and anyone else on your list that you made. Keep your cash available, use credit cards and only pay the minimum payment (for now). This may sound like the opposite of what you’d normally be told. However, we are hoping that in a few month’s time things will start to become relatively normal again and you can go back to your normal payments and not using credit cards. Remember, although creditors and utility companies aren’t all required to give assistance, most will at the least give you a payment plan. This plan will ultimately save you money and stress. Good luck!
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