Dealing with debt can be a stressful experience. Coupling that with the coronavirus pandemic may make it even harder to address. As you plan for the potential economic impact of coronavirus, there are a number of steps that you can take to help manage debt in these difficult times.
Federal, state, and local governments are working to respond to the growing public health threat of coronavirus, or COVID-19 . As communities across the country are dealing with an increase in the number of reported cases, many areas may be impacted by the temporary closure of businesses, schools and other public facilities or events, and in some cases, quarantines. While these actions are necessary steps to help reduce exposures, it may bring financial uncertainty for many people who could experience a loss of income due to illness or workplace closures.
With that in mind, here are some ways to help with making ends meet in these uncertain times.
First and foremost, if you don’t have an emergency fund, stop and create one now. Start cutting expenses and pay minimal payments on debt. Use the extra cash flow to put into an emergency fund which can later act as a savings if not used during this time.
This budget should be extra strict during this time. Stray away from online purchases, ordering take-out, spending money that you can potentially put into your emergency fund.
Having an emergency fund gives you the peace of mind to know that should something truly awful happen, such as losing your job, you can worry about how to deal with the emergency itself and not worry about how you’re going to survive financially.
Above all else, make sure your immediate needs are met. This includes food, monthly bills and rent or mortgage
How big should my emergency fund be?
While a person’s emergency fund will vary from situation to situation, most financial experts agree that a fully stocked emergency fund should hold between three to eight months of monthly expenses.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused unemployment levels to skyrocket, delivering a massive blow to the U.S. economy as a whole and shuttering, at least temporarily, thousands of businesses across the country.
Unemployment benefits are meant to temporarily help cover your needs — like housing costs, food and utility bills — until you can find new work. If you’re self-employed and lost clients or business due to the coronavirus pandemic, you would’ve otherwise not qualified for regular unemployment insurance.
US taxpayers may be eligible for up to $1,200 apiece in economic stimulus payments that are part of the government’s $2 trillion relief package intended to help ease the financial fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s estimated that nine in 10 US households could qualify to receive an economic impact payment, as the IRS terms it.
In addition to payments of up to $1,200 for individuals who meet the requirements, the new economic stimulus law also includes help for the unemployed and those with student loans knocked back by the COVID-19 disease, as well financial support for small businesses.
If you’re eligible, the IRS and Treasury Department will offer to deposit the check directly into your bank account. The first stimulus checks should begin to go out around the second week of April, but not everyone will receive a complete cash payment and some won’t receive a stimulus check at all.
The amount you’ll receive will depend on your total income in 2019 or 2018. If you qualify, you’ll receive one payment. Here’s who qualifies:
- If you’re a single US resident and have an adjusted gross income less than $99,000
- If you file as the head of a household and earn under $146,500
- If you file jointly without children and earn less than $198,000
Ask For Help
Ask for help where you need it most. Call your bank, mortgage company, electricity company, and see how can they help you during this time. You’ll likely have to pick up the phone and ask for help, but if you do, the changes can be really impactful.
If you’re finding yourself in need of additional funds, KwikCash would be happy to consider you for a personal loan for personal needs. Please reach out to us online and we will do our best to accommodate your needs during this time.