During the Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans have resorted to using credit cards to purchase basic living expenses. With many Americans out of work and stuck at home, this crisis has wreaked havoc on their finances.
Analysts at Bankrate.com estimate that over 110 million consumers entered this crisis carrying credit card debt. A great portion of this debt was already incurred by paying for necessary living expenses, such as childcare and groceries, with credit credits. These expenses also included paying for repairs to cars or homes, as well as emergency medical expenses.
Now that more than seven million Americans have lost their incomes due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, rent is also being added to the list of expenses being charged from month to month. Before using credit to pay for your living expenses, financial experts recommend that consumers first reach out to their credit card company, car lenders, landlords or mortgage companies and explain their predicaments. They may be willing to work with the consumers on waiving late fees, changing payment due dates or offering temporary relief to get through this crisis. The worst thing a consumer can do is to ignore the bills and let them become past due. Reach out before a payment is missed or is submitted late.
Also, try to keep in mind that it is acceptable to carry a little bit of debt for temporary purposes. However, if possible, try to not charge every expense on the credit card. Be sure to keep an eye on what is being put on your credit card and monitor the card’s balance. Try to use cash on hand to pay for as many expenses as possible in lieu of charging them.
It may also be beneficial to research the credit card’s rewards program. Many people may have rewards accumulated over time that may be used towards paying on the card’s balance or for discounts on other essential items, such as food or shopping at specific stores.
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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.