COVID-19- Financial Assistance
Information changes daily. Contact the links below, your lender or the credit card services for updated information. This is intended to be used as a guide only. DO NOT assume this information is 100% correct. You MUST confirm with your lender and credit services.
For accurate and detailed information regarding COVID-19 contact the CDC.
How to get help paying your mortgage
Those who need relief from monthly payments at this time can contact their lender for assistance, and they are not generally required to provide documentation to verify their hardship.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA has instructed mortgage servicers to offer borrowers facing financial hardship with options.
Primarily, mortgage borrowers can request a forbearance plan, which would reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months. The exact structure of a forbearance plan will depend on the borrower and lender in question.
Homeowners with a forbearance plan in place won’t be charged late fees and won’t see past-due payments reported to credit bureaus during the national emergency, the agencies said.
When the forbearance plan is completed, a borrower can then work with their servicer to get a permanent plan in place to maintain or reduce their monthly payments or modify their loan. Depending on the structure of the forbearance plan though, borrowers may owe all their suspended payments at the end in a lump sum.
To be eligible for these options, borrowers must have been current or less than 31 days delinquent for Freddie Mac-backed loans.
Separately, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency unveiled separate moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures during the emergency for people who have mortgages backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration.
How to get help with food provisions
The Atlanta Community Food Bank is assisting people in need of food. Just follow these steps:
Text FINDFOOD (or COMIDA en espanol) to 888.976.2232
A prompt will request a zip code and street address (it also works with ZIP only)
The system will provide the three closest food distribution locations with contact information.
The same information is available on their website in map form at the following link.
How to get help paying your credit card bills
Credit-card holders have a wide range of options, depending on their card issuer. These can include higher credit limits, lower annual percentage rates (APRs), reduced minimum payments, waived fees, not reporting late payments to credit agencies, skip payments for one to two months without interest, and extended payment deadlines.
“The biggest thing that consumers need to know here is that relief is available, but they need to ask for it. Most lenders are willing to work with during this national emergency.
With so many people attempting to get relief from their lenders, phone lines have been jammed. Consider reaching out by online chat, text message and social media where possible.
It is possible that placing more charges to their card and fewer payments on their balances, their credit utilization ratio will increase. That in turn could cause a person’s credit score to drop.
How to get help paying your student loans
Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt and for many, those monthly payments are still going to arrive regardless of lost jobs or decreased pay.
But President Donald Trump announced borrowers will be allowed to take a two-month pause on making payments.
In addition, the federal government, which is the lender behind the overwhelming majority of student loans, says borrowers right now don’t need to pay interest on their loans. That means people for now would only pay principal on federally-held student loans.
But that might not be enough for some. There are options, according to the National Consumer Law Center.
Borrowers can ask their loan servicer for a forbearance, which pauses payments on a loan. Typically, interest would accrue during a forbearance, but an interest waiver may also apply to loans put on hold. A general forbearance can pause payments for up to a year. Borrowers may be able to extend a forbearance up to three years.
One option for student-loan borrowers is applying for an income-driven repayment plan.
Another possibility is applying for an income-driven repayment plan, where payments are tailored to a person’s earnings. Borrowers might be able to quickly complete the application online through their loan servicer.
How to get help with utility bills
Contact your utility provider. There are far too many to address specifically. You may be surprised with what options are available. Some are waiving late charges, delaying shut off of utilities for 30-60 days, special payment plans are often available and other possible options.
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