As the coronavirus spreads across the United States and cases increase by the day, more people are getting laid off from their jobs. Some businesses are closing due to government restrictions in the area. For instance, many cities have restricted all dine-in business for restaurants. Because of this, many people are without work and are left wondering how to pay the bills during this crisis.
How to Pay the Bills During a Pandemic
It is not yet clear what the stimulus package in the U.S. will look like to help the American people, and the economy, recover from this. If you are looking for immediate relief or help, the following tips will help you figure out how to pay the bills or make arrangements for your finances.
- Contact your mortgage lender. You may be eligible for a reduced mortgage payment or a complete pause on your payments altogether. Call your lender and discuss what options may be available to you. Important: Do not wait until you start missing payments to call.
- Apply for forbearance or deferment on your student loans. Many student loan borrowers saw Trump’s announcement that he would waive all interest on student loans during the crisis. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to still make payments though. If you’re having trouble making payments, you can apply for deferment or forbearance for your loan. Read more here.
- Call your utility companies. Yes, even your electric, water, gas, etc. will be able to work with you on payments at this time. If you are out of work and really hard-up for money, many of these companies will allow you to make partial payments, if needed. You may also qualify for free or reduced utility prices based on your income.
Lastly, many businesses and large corporations are putting a pause on any action they may typically take against delinquent accounts. For instance, Bank of America has paused all of its evictions, foreclosures, and repossessions until after the coronavirus pandemic has calmed down. That being said, you still should call and discuss your options with the lender/company.
Conclusion: Communication is Key
We, as a nation and as human beings, are all going through this together. Remember if you are calling a customer service line that they are likely dealing with high call volumes, not to mention their work environments have likely changed as well. Communication and kindness will go a long way during this time.
Lastly, if you find yourself out of work at this time, consider looking for a side hustle or another way to generate income during this time. We’ve compiled a list of 38 ways to make money on the side here.