When the unique novel coronavirus showed up in America, it probably took you, like most Americans, by surprise. As it ripped through the country, it forced you into quarantine because you either quit your job or your company suspended its business.
Watching the statistics of the rising infection rate and the mounting death toll on the news, you may have experienced a gamut of emotions. Besides anxiety about your family’s safety, you may also have experienced grave uncertainty about how to pay your bills.
After the COVID-19 lockdown, the economy took a hit and businesses nationwide unraveled with alarming speed. It also affected everyone’s personal finances. Now that the country has opened again, despite the pandemic continuing unabated, what can you do to salvage your finances?
Here are a few suggestions on how to manage your personal finances during this crisis:
Reduce Your Credit Card Debt
If your income disappeared, you may have had to rely on your credit cards to pay for your basic expenses. Even if you got unemployment benefits, your checks may have been slow in coming. And even if you got the government’s stimulus check after you filed your taxes, it may only have helped for a month.
While credit cards might provide a temporary fix, they can also cause you to dangerously spiral into high interest rate credit card debt. One of the best things you can do to manage this situation is to get a consolidated loan from a finance company. Finance companies like Braidwood Capital have proved to be a boon to consumers saddled with high-interest credit cards.
Many consumers question finance companies who promise to assist consumers with accumulating credit card debt. They misconstrue their advertising as hype. But, with Braidwood Capital, this is simply not the case. The company provides consumers with viable solutions to manage their credit card debts.
Ask for Debt Forbearance
If it’s difficult for you to meet your expenses, you might be able to get some relief by speaking to lenders, creditors, or insurers. Since this is an arduous time for everyone, a few organizations are open to providing debt forbearance.
While not every business will give you forbearance, it’s still worth inquiring about. When you get a forbearance, it provides immediate relief. You’ll be able to skip payments without accruing interest and you won’t get negative marks on your credit report.
Sometimes you have to ask for forbearance, while at other times it’s automatic. A few mortgage lenders, for instance, will give 60- or 90-day forbearance — but you have to ask for it. Other types of forbearance, like federal student loans, are automatic. If you have one, you don’t have to pay until the end of September.
Shop for Lower Rates on Essential Services
It’s possible to get lower rates on essential products or services, such as internet service or phone or insurance. Switching providers doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a lower quality of service. While pricing often suggests higher quality, this isn’t always true. A company may be able to provide you with equal or superior service than its competitors because they have figured a way to lower their overheads and pass these savings onto you.
Build an Emergency Fund
It’s always a good idea to have a cash reserve. So, if possible, start an emergency saving account. Perhaps, you have surplus money that you can set aside. Or maybe, you can reduce your spending. Both Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) coverages will protect your principal and balance up to $250,000.
To sum up, it’s always wise to manage your money well. This is especially true during turbulent economic times like we’re facing now. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage your personal finances better during the pandemic. First, you can reduce your high interest rate credit card debt. Next, you can ask for forbearance wherever it’s possible. Then, you can shop for lower rates for essential goods and services. Finally, you can build an emergency fund, protecting your asset in FDIC or NCUSIF-insured financial institutions.