Surely, everyone is grateful for a stimulus check of $1,200 or a small business cash infusion of $1,000 per employee, but weathering a storm of financial uncertainty will take a lot more than that.
The idea of facing a recession can be scary. A recession fueled by an international pandemic can be even scarier. But while financial recessions can mean layoffs, foreclosures, and more, the good news is that industry and the American economy isn’t going down without a fight, and to assist in this, there have been rent and mortgage furloughs, loan repayment moratoriums, and other ways to help everyone get by in this time of need. So no matter how loudly the news channels scream that these are end of days, don't let fear paralyze you.
The mortgage and banking industry has responded with drastic and humane measures. The idea is that borrowers who have been temporarily furloughed from their jobs or laid off or can’t work because of sickness from COVID-19 can take a break from their mortgage payments.
Programs have been designed to halt mortgage payments for as long as six months and might be extended if the pandemic and economic hardships continue, according to guidelines from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
And while no one can predict the future, the best thing you can do is to face a recession head-on, and actively prepare for whatever might come. Fortunately, there are a lot of simple ways to reduce debt, cut your bills, and insure against the unknowns.
Reducing costs is one way to keep your head above water. With more than 90 percent of the U.S. population under stay-at-home orders and our cars sitting in our driveways, many people might be looking at reducing their car insurance costs, and most insurance carriers agree that now might be an excellent time to reduce your rates. That same principle applies to many debtors across the nation, with programs being put in place to extend grace periods, waive late fees and penalties, and institute flexible payment plans. Calling a representative and asking for relief due to financial hardship may result in some good news.
Under normal circumstances, grace periods are seven days for auto insurance and 31 days for life insurance but can vary among companies and states. Late payments can result in your coverage lapsing or terminating. In some cases, a policy can be reinstated by catching up with payments, but insurance companies are generally not obligated to reinstate coverage. These are far from normal circumstances though.
There are many other things that can be done to bolster one’s financial position during hard times, from smart investing strategies to leveraging savings and emergency funds, and more. With some added time at home for a lot of us, why not take this opportunity to go over your financial health, and from a holistic view of it all, see where you can reduce costs and increase earning potential for a smarter financial plan that will get you through tough times.
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