Coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Card Debt

How the Pandemic is Changing Americans’ Credit Card Habits

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the way of life for consumers in both good and bad ways. One change has to do with the way Americans utilize their credit cards post-pandemic. 

A recent study conducted by Money and Morning Consult surveyed how American consumers have been using their credit cards during this crisis. What the study found was Americans are continuing to use their cards. However, the way by which they are using their cards has changed.  

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

Covid-19 Mortgage Bailouts Decline, New Foreclosure Crisis Looming

Homeowners are struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments as the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues. The mortgage bailouts offered by the federal government and private sector during the crisis have helped temporarily, but as the number of bailouts begin to decline, many homeowners are finding themselves facing the possibility of impending foreclosure.

According to figures from Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data firm, approximately 3.7 million borrowers are still receiving assistance through federal government and private sector mortgage forbearance programs.  This figure represents nearly seven percent of all active mortgages. Forbearance plans allow borrowers to temporarily delay monthly payments for anywhere between three months to a year.

COVID-19, Foreclosures, Kingcade Garcia McMaken

Evictions Pile Up as DeSantis’ Moratorium Set to Expire in Florida

Both landlords and tenants are waiting with bated breath to see what will happen when it comes to the current moratorium on evictions in Florida. With the hold on evictions set to expire at the end of this month, no official statement has come from the Florida Governor’s office regarding whether Gov. Ron DeSantis intends to extend the moratorium through the end of September. In the meantime, the number of eviction cases are piling up, waiting to proceed once the freeze on evictions is lifted.

The moratorium on evictions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic originally took effect on April 2, during the height of the epidemic. As the hold on evictions now enters its fifth month, landlords are demanding the stay be lifted, allowing them to proceed with business, while tenants are requesting the hold on evictions be extended, giving them additional breathing room to get back on their feet during this difficult time. However, many landlords argue that the individuals taking use of this moratorium do not actually need the assistance but are simply taking advantage of the statewide ban.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

Governor DeSantis Issues Amended Executive Order on Foreclosures and Evictions

The statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has been extended via an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis. However, critics are questioning the language within the order itself as to just what it means for Florida residents facing evictions or foreclosures.

The executive order was signed and announced on July 29. However, the amended language in this new executive order does not prevent all evictions and foreclosures like the previous one did.

student loan debt, Student Loans

What Borrowers Need to Know About the New Executive Order- “Continued Student Loan Payment Relief During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

A new executive order signed by President Trump is expected to give additional relief to student loan borrowers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is important that all student loan borrowers be aware of what these changes entail and how they can affect their outstanding student loan balances.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, that included relief effort for numerous aspects of the economy. The CARES Act paused all federal student loan payments and stopped interest from being incurred on federal student loans. Additionally, the stimulus bill put a stop to all federal student loan collection efforts. However, this bill was passed at the beginning of the pandemic with the thought that relief would no longer be needed through the end of 2020 with the hopes that the COVID-19 crisis would eventually be subsiding. Given the fact that numbers of positive cases are growing, and states are struggling to manage the crisis, it has quickly become clear that additional relief was needed. The original relief offered through the CARES Act was set to expire on September 30, 2020.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Financial Advice

When You Should Use Your Emergency Fund

Financial experts recommend that consumers put away a little money every paycheck towards an “emergency fund.”  This money is meant to cover the ‘unexpected expense,’ whether that be a car repair, medical bill, or essential home repair. With the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and many people losing their jobs, it may be time to utilize your emergency fund.

Financial Hardship

One of the most common circumstances where a person would utilize their emergency fund is in response to financial hardship. The stimulus funds offered by the CARES Act helped for a short period of time, and many landlords, mortgage holders, credit card companies and other creditors have been willing to work with individuals who are struggling to pay their bills as a result of this crisis. However, even with that help, a person may still need to take some money from their emergency savings to pay for bills that need paid. Once your income returns, then begin replenishing the money taken from savings.

Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

Federal Ban on Foreclosures and Evictions Extended through End of August

As the coronavirus has put hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work, many are struggling to pay necessary living expenses, including rent and mortgage payments.  At the start of the pandemic, many states, as well as the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a temporary ban on foreclosures and evictions to help alleviate this burden.

This week, the FHFA has announced that they will be extending this ban on foreclosures and evictions through at least August 31.

COVID-19, Credit Score

Tips to Protect Your Credit Score During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has put many Americans in a difficult financial situation. While many are out of work either temporarily or permanently, others have found their salaries cut indefinitely as companies ride out the pandemic. The financial struggles that countless consumers are facing has put their own personal financial situations at risk, including their credit scores. Here are some tips to help protect your credit score during the pandemic.

File for Unemployment.

One of the first things a person should do after being laid off due to the pandemic is to file for unemployment. Due to the unprecedented conditions brought on by the COVID-19, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) expanded the eligibility terms for unemployment benefits.  These benefits now extend to freelancers and contract workers. Additionally, the CARES Act has provided an additional $600 per week for those who qualify.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Collection, Debt Relief

How to Continue Paying Debt While Unemployed During COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused countless Americans to lose their jobs. More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the wake of the outbreak. Paying for basic expenses can be difficult enough but paying down debt while unemployed can seem impossible.

However, with proper planning and by taking advantage of opportunities available during this time, it can make things a little easier. The first step is to evaluate all expenses coming out monthly and create a budget to see what payments can be made. Additionally, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) provides some relief, as well, that can make this process easier.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt Relief

How to Avoid a Big Tax Hit on Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits

Man fills in Unemployment benefits application form.

A record 33 million American workers are currently collecting unemployment benefits amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. And with these benefits come the inevitable tax repercussions. Here are some ways to lessen the impact.

Unemployment benefits received through the state, as well as the $600 coming from the CARES Act, provided by the federal government through July 31, are all considered taxable income. While Social Security and Medicare costs do not come out of unemployment benefits immediately like they do with normal paychecks, the recipient will be taxed by both the state and federal government. This can result in the person winding up paying in the long run when it comes to tax season if he or she has not paid enough tax throughout the year. However, this little “surprise” can be avoided by taking a few extra steps when receiving unemployment benefits.