If you have seen a reduction in pay due to COVID-19 and are struggling to make your credit card or loan payments, contact your lender right away. Explain your situation and ask about hardship programs that may be available. Regulatory agencies have encouraged financial institutions to work with customers impacted by the coronavirus.
Trouble Paying Credit Cards
Credit card companies and lenders may be able to offer you a number of options to help you. This could include waiving certain fees like ATM, overpayments, and late fees, as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.
For more information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding credit cards, mortgages, and more, please visit www.consumerfinance.gov.
A credit counselor may be able to assist you with your debt. Find one near you by contacting the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) at 1-800-388-2227 or by visiting www.nfcc.org.
Trouble Paying your Mortgage or Rent
If you can't cover your mortgage payment or rent, contact your lender or landlord immediately. Do not wait until you're behind on payments.
Some lenders may work out an agreement with you to waive late fees, set up a repayment plan, or offer loan forbearance.
For mortgage information visit www.consumerfinance.gov. Find a housing counselor near you by visiting www.hud.gov.
For rental assistance visit www.hud.gov.
Student Loans Deferment
If you're in a short-term financial bind, you may qualify for a deferment or a forbearance. With either of these options, you can temporarily suspend your payments. Visit the Federal Student Aid Office website at www.studentaid.gov for further guidance and select "Coronavirus Forbearance Information."
Private student loans and some federal student loans may be excluded from the CARES Act payment freeze. The Attorney General's office has partnered with Summer, a social enterprise that assists student loan borrowers, to provide free student loan assistance to simplify and save on your student debt.
Pennsylvania residents can now access Summer's digital platform and its student loan experts free of charge to receive customized loan savings recommendations at meetsummer.org/pa.
Short Term and Emergency Loans
Consider your options before taking out a high cost short term loan. Talk with your creditors to negotiate more time to pay bills, borrow from friends or family, or explore low interest loans offered by local banks and credit unions.
If you do take out a short-term loan, make sure the lender is licensed with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities and borrow only what you can afford to pay back. Find out more at www.dobs.pa.gov, or by calling 1-800-PA-BANKS.