Here are some Financial Resources during the Coronavirus Pandemic of links, blogs, articles that can help you navigate this tough time.
The best option is to call and let the company know immediately that you are having financial difficulties so they can help you.
Credit Card Debt? What should you do?
Relief will NOT be provided automatically so you need to take action and ask for help if you need it.
Credit Karma put together a good detailed article about each Credit Card companies that is offering some sort of options during this time and what to ask. Details on Credit Karma here.
Experian created an article about lenders and other companies and what they are offering and what to do.
Keeping Credit Cards – Some are being closed
For those that don’t remember in 2008/2009, some credit card companies even closed credit card lines that weren’t being used or closed them while the customer was paying it off. I see this is going to happen again. Be prepared for this. If you have a credit card that you haven’t used in a while, make sure you use it at least once and pay it off so you can keep it active. It is also suggested for security purposes as well to check your credit score on a regular basis as well as any changes to your credit cards. Credit card companies do not have to tell you when they close your account.
A great tip is to buy a gift card on your credit card on a regular basis for a place you shop at often like Amazon, Target, Walmart and pay it off right away. That way you have a gift card to use for needs that you have and you keep the credit card active.
Article “In echo of ’08, coronavirus threatens billions in credit card losses for banks” about Credit Card companies closing credit cards.
March 2020 – Congress and the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Cares Act.
Economic Impact Payments to 80% of U.S. Citizens.
Who qualifies for these checks?
If you filed for 2019 taxes already they will base it on that, if not they will base it on 2018 taxes. This is considered a credit on your 2020 taxes.
“There are income limitations based on your filing status. For singles, the payments are reduced for those with Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGI) above $75,000. For married couples filing jointly, the phase-out begins at an AGI of $150,000. For those filing as head of household, the reductions begin at $112,500. (Note: if you are single, widowed or divorced and claim a child as a dependent, you probably have been filing as a head of household.)
The payments are reduced by $5 for every $100 in AGI over the above limits. As a result, a single tax filer would see no payments for an AGI of $99,000 or higher. For a married couple filing jointly with no children, their payment would phase-out completely with an AGI of $198,000.” Per Forbes article
Where to find your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income)?
This is found on Form 1040 in various versions.
- Form 1040 – 2018: Line 7
- Form 1040 – 2019: Line 8b
- Form 1040-SR – 2019: Line 8b
How much will you receive?
Here is a good calculator from Forbes calculator and article by Rob Berger
When will the direct deposits or checks be sent?
IRS announced they have started sending them as of April 11, 2020.
Where is my check?
IRS updated their website with a look up feature for you check: IRS link on where is my check.
More details will be posted on the IRS.gov website.
Update as of 5/27/20: You may be getting a prepaid debt card instead. More information on the IRS.gov website here.
Nearly four million people are being sent their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card, instead of paper check. The determination of which taxpayers receive a debit card was made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, another part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments.
These Economic Impact Payment Cards arrive in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. The Visa name will appear on the front of the card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. Information included with the card will explain that the card is an Economic Impact Payment Card.
Those who receive Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees.
- Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
- Get cash from in-network ATMs
- Transfer funds to their personal bank account
- Check their card balance online, by mobile app, or by phone
This free, prepaid card also provides consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including protection against fraud, loss, and other errors.
The card will come with instructions on how to activate and use it. Learn more at www.eipcard.com.
What about small businesses?
The Paycheck Protection Program
Paycheck Protection Program article by Philip Taylor, financial blogger at PTmoney.com and founder of Fincon, created a great blog post about the bill and the The Paycheck Protection Program. It is updated on a regular basis.
SBA (Small Business Administration) loans for Disaster Assistance
The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, renters, and homeowners located in regions affected by declared disasters.
More details about SBA relief here and Disaster Loan Applications here.
As of April 24, 2020, the President signed into law the PPP “Enhancement” Act. This adds an additional $320 Billion to the PPP program. The SBA should be processing applications again on April 27, 2020. SBA applications website
As of April 16, 2020, it was stated on the SBA applications website that the money has run out. There has been talks that Congress may request more money. More to come.
Additional information about all of the CARES act updates from Keith Taxguy – Wealthy Accountant. He includes a good Facebook live talking about the CARE act. It is being updated on a regular basis.
The U.S. Treasury Department put together a list of resources about the CARES Act.
Fannie and Freddie loan Forbearance and Resources
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy mortgages from lenders and either hold these mortgages in their portfolios or package the loans into mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that may be sold. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created by Congress.
The below comments are made about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.
As of April 14, 2020, it is still unclear how service providers are implementing the forbearance. Make sure if you go this route to get a clear and detailed documentation on when you have to pay the mortgage payments back.
Mortgage Relief for Homeowners
If you are experiencing a hardship such as job loss, income reduction, or sickness due to COVID-19 and you are no longer able to make your mortgage payment, your mortgage servicer is available to help with mortgage relief options, including:
- Payment relief through a forbearance plan offers a reduction or suspension of your mortgage payments for up to 12 months, offered in increments of up to six months
- Late fee relief during your forbearance plan period
- Repayment options following your forbearance, including a repayment plan to catch up gradually or a permanent loan modification that aims to maintain or reduce your monthly payment
- Additionally, foreclosure and eviction relief may be available through the federal CARES Act signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020.
Use this link to find out if Fannie Mae is servicing your loan – Fannie Mae Lookup tool
If you are a homeowner experiencing financial hardship directly or indirectly related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac, contact your loan servicer (the company listed on your mortgage statement) right away to discuss your options.
Whether you’re facing job loss, reduced income, illness or other issues that impact your ability to make your monthly mortgage payment, Freddie Mac is working to ensure you are protected.
In fact, the company has directed your loan servicer to provide mortgage relief options that include:
- Ensuring payment relief by providing forbearance for up to 12 months
- Waiving assessments of penalties or late fees
- Halting all foreclosure actions and evictions of borrowers living in homes owned by the company until at least May 17, 2020
- Offering loan modification options to provide mortgage payment relief or keep those payments the same after the forbearance period
- Borrowers are eligible for forbearance regardless of whether their property is owner occupied, a second home or an investment property.
- If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments or believe you may fall behind on your payments soon, don’t wait – contact your loan servicer now. They’re here to help you. Freddie Mac article details here.
Use this link to find out if Freddie Mac is servicing your loan Freddie Mac Lookup tool.
Additional Resources about Freddie Mac here.
As I find other resources I will include them here.
Treasury Department put together a list of resources on helping people with finances during this time.