Borrow Debt

We Got You: Coronavirus Resources and Financial Advice

Dayana Yochim  |  March 30, 2020

We’ve compiled a directory of financial resources and advice for those experiencing hardship from the Coronavirus crisis.

From unemployment benefits to debt relief to resources for small business owners, seniors, students and women, we’ll update this list of Coronavirus resources regularly to help you navigate the financial fallout from the COVID-19 crisis. 

Email us at editor@hermoney.com with suggestions on helpful Coronavirus resources to add.

Coronavirus resources for unemployment

  • Find information about filing for unemployment benefits as it relates to COVID-19 in your state at the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) CareerOneStop site. The site also offers instructions on how to apply for benefits
  • Find out about the DOL’s other local and regional employment programs and services in your state.
  • Note: Many people who were ineligible for unemployment benefits (gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors) are now covered under the expanded program under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • Also covered are those who have Covid-19, people who cannot work because they are caring for a member of the household who has the virus, and people who can’t work because the facilities that provide dependent care are shut down.
  • The United States Bartenders’ Guild’s national charity foundation has set up a Bartender Emergency Assistance Program with grants to provide emergency hardship assistance. The organization also has set up a COVID-19 Relief & Response page for links to additional programs for hospitality industry workers.

Credit cards and COVID-19

Some of the major issuers have dedicated pages on their websites offering the most up-to-date information about the type of help they may be able to provide customers:

More from HerMoney: The Dos and Don’ts of Credit Right Now

Small businesses owner Coronavirus resources 

More from HerMoney: What Female-Run Small Businesses Are Doing To Make It Through the Crisis

Coronavirus resources for utilities (cellular, internet, electricity, gas, water)

  • If you are a residential or small business customer of one of the broadband and/or telephone service providers on this list, note that they have signed the Federal Communications Commission’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge.” For the next 60 days they promise not to terminate service and will waive late fees caused by the coronavirus pandemic. They are also opening their Wi-Fi hotspots to any Americans who need them.
  • Some state and city regulators across the U.S. have started directing utility companies (gas, water and electric) to suspend shutoffs for customers struggling to pay their bills. Some companies are deferring bill collection, waiving late fees and deposits for residential and/or commercial customers. Don’t wait until your payment is past due to contact your utility company and negotiate relief if you’re experiencing hardship as a result of Covid-19.

Mortgage payments and Coronavirus

More from HerMoney:

Car loan payments

  • Worried about making your auto loan payment? The CFPB offers resources to help you work with your lender to avoid falling behind.

Student loan relief during the COVID-19 crisis

  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, required payments on federally held student loans have been suspended until Sept. 30. During the relief period interest will not accrue. Note: Don’t just blow off your loan payment. Contact your lender to see if your loan qualifies.
  • FAQs for students, borrowers and parents from the Federal Student Aid office.
  • Some private lenders (including Sallie Mae and Navient) are offering payment suspensions to qualified borrowers. Contact your lender to see if it is an option for you.
  • Other relief options: You may be able to lower your monthly student loan payments by enrolling in a payment plan based on your income or a plan that extends the amount of time you will have to repay your loan
  • Visit the CFPB for information on repayment plans, whether your student loans are federal or private.

Debt collection

Financial planning resources around Coronavirus 

More from HerMoney:

Retirement account rules during the Coronavirus

  • As mentioned earlier, contributions to IRAs for the 2019 tax year have been extended to July 15. Just be sure to indicate that your deposit is for 2019 in your account or your IRA custodian may attribute it to the 2020 tax year.
  • Required minimum distributions (RMDs) from IRAs and workplace savings accounts (e.g. 401(k)s) have been suspended for the 2020 calendar year.
  • The IRS is also waiving the 10% early withdrawal penalty for those who need to tap an IRA or workplace retirement account because of the outbreak. The waiver applies to withdrawals up to $100,000. You’ll still owe income taxes, but you’re allowed to spread out those payments over three years. The clock starts the day you take the distribution.
  • The new Coronavirus relief bill also has some new provisions for those borrowing money from a 401(k) or other workplace account: It allows loans of up to $100,000, even if that amount is more than half of your balance, for 180 days after the bill is passed. If you have a previous retirement account loan that’s coming due before Dec. 31, you have an extra year to finish repaying it.

Taxes and Coronavirus

More from HerMoney:

Benefits for senior citizens

  • There are more than 2,500 benefits available to senior citizens. Find out what’s available in your area from the National Council on Aging.

Insurance

  • Geico has paused cancellations due to non-payment and policy expiration through April 30. The insurer is also offering flexible payment plans for customers who need it after normal billing operations resume. 
  • Major insurers — such as Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers and USAA — are encouraging customers experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus.
  • JennyLife has created an FAQ on whether life insurance covers death from COVID-19 and whether you can apply for life insurance during the crisis. (Spoiler alert: You can.)

Military resources

Food insecurity

  • Burger King is offering two free kids meals with every adult meal ordered through the company’s app (download through Apple’s app store and Google Play). The meals are available for takeout and drive-through while supplies last and currently offered through April 6.
  • Many other restaurant chains are offering free delivery with a minimum purchase (e.g. $10 or more) or discounts when ordering through their apps or online.

Domestic violence resources

Coronavirus resources for artists

Coronavirus scams

  • Beware of Coronavirus-related scams. The Federal Trade Commission has a rundown of the types of Coronavirus scams targeting consumer fear and uncertainty, from fake charities and robo-calls to sellers of hard-to-find goods never delivering what you ordered.
  • Report any scams or suspicious claims to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

More from HerMoney: How to Avoid Coronavirus Scams, with Frank Abagnale

Coronavirus charities

Travel during the coronavirus crisis

 

MORE FROM THE HERMONEY TEAM ON LIVING THROUGH THE COVID-19 CRISIS: 

JOIN US in the judgement-free zone with our free weekly newsletter. Sign up today!


Next Article: