COVID-19 FOOD AND FINANCIAL RELIEF

COVID-19 FOOD AND FINANCIAL RELIEF

Resources and strategies to help those experiencing hardship

SUMMARY

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to impact many individuals and families, we want to help. This resource has been created to help those who are experiencing financial hardship.

Currently, there are a number of measures being considered to help families financially over the coming weeks. For a summary of those items, see the “National Relief Measures” and “Local Relief Measures” sections below. People who anticipate having trouble making payments should review the “Steps To Take” list below. They should also seek financial assistance options in their areas (see “Financial Assistance Resources” section below).

STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT PAYING BILLS

Budget

  • If you haven’t looked at a budget in a while, now’s the time to do so. Every Dollar is a great free app to use to get a budget together.
  • Get clarity from your income sources as to what the reality will look like over the coming weeks.
  • Cut spending to bare necessities. If you can’t pay all of your bills, Dave Ramsey recommends you spend your money on these four items first and in this order:
    • Food 
    • Utilities 
    • Shelter 
    • Transportation
  • Defer Payments

    • If you’re still not able to cover all of your expenses, identify payments that can be deferred:
      • Call creditors to explain your situation. You can ask for temporary relief on your monthly payments. If you offer to still send some money, even if it’s a smaller amount than your typical payment, they might be more willing to work with you.
      • If you have federal student loans, you can forbear (interest accrues) or defer (interest doesn’t accrue on subsidized federal loans) your loan payments.
      • For student loans, use this questionnaire to understand what options are available to you.
    • If you’re paying extra on debt(s) right now and have less than one to two months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund, it might not be a bad idea to temporarily stop extra payments and then restart them once things settle down.
    • Enroll for health insurance, if you can.
    • Use this week to get a game plan together and gather information, as there may be more changes coming.
    • Reach out to the MoneyWise team using an email address listed above if you want to talk.