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 [email protected] 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:
- Apple Card
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Truist (BB&T and Suntrust banks)
- U.S. Bank
- Wells Fargo
More from HerMoney: The Dos and Don’ts of Credit Right Now
Small businesses owner Coronavirus resources
- The stimulus package includes more than $370 billion for small businesses, including loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It has streamlined the disaster loan application process process for eligible small businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters.
- Find local assistance from your state’s Small Business Administration.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a Coronavirus Small Business Guide for those small businesses being affected by COVID-19. You can also search for your state’s Chamber of Commerce.
- Facebook’s Small Business Grants program is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to businesses impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.
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
- If your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (find out here) and you’re experiencing hardship due to the coronavirus crisis, you may be eligible to suspend payments.
- If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage as a result of Coronavirus impacting your income, here’s guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- The CFPB recommends contacting a housing counselor. Use this housing counseling agency search page to find a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved agency in your state. Or you can call the HOPE Hotline at (888) 995-HOPE (4673) or go to the Homeownership Preservation Foundation’s website.
- Bankrate’s explainer on mortgage forbearance and other ways to catch up on payments.
More from HerMoney:
- A Single Woman’s Guide to Buying a Home
- Looking to Refinance Your Mortgage? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
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.
- Overwhelmed by debt? Learn how to negotiate a settlement with a debt collector.
- The CFPB explainer on the important differences between credit counselors and debt settlement (or debt relief) companies.
- Use LawHelp.org’s directory to find free legal aid programs, information and forms for low-income individuals.
Financial planning resources around Coronavirus
- Search fee-only financial planners specializing in Coronavirus relief.
- The Financial Planning Association has a list of Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) who have volunteered to provide pro-bono, short-term financial planning guidance.
More from HerMoney:
- 5 Things to Do With Your Investments Instead of Selling
- Questions You Must Ask a Financial Advisor Before Hiring Them
- How to Deal With a Market Dip If You’re About to Retire
- HerMoney How-To: All About Emergency Funds (How Much, Best Accounts, Rules for Women and More)
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
- The IRS has extended the federal tax filing and payment deadlines to July 15 because of COVID-19. For the latest see irs.gov/coronavirus.
- The 2019 IRA contribution deadline has also been extended to July 15, 2020.
- Individual taxpayers are eligible to request a six-month filing extension. However, if you’re expecting a refund you should file your tax return ASAP. See IRS resources for forms and directions on how to file for an extension.
- State payment/filing deadlines are not always the same. Check your state tax agency for the latest.
More from HerMoney:
- The 2019 Tax Filing Delay: What Does It Mean For You?
- 5 Free or Cheap Ways to File Your Taxes
- 2020 Tax Filing Tips for Women Who’ve Gone Through Some Stuff
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.
- 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.)
- For members of the military, Military One Source has created a special section with information on financial assistance and more.
- 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
- Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or call 911 if you are in an emergency situation. You can also chat one-on-one online confidentially with a hotline Advocate. If you are unable to speak safely, log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. Here is The Hotline’s advice on staying safe during COVID-19.
Coronavirus resources for artists
- Creative Capital’s list of resources for artists (of all disciplines), including grants, emergency relief funds, assistance programs, foundations and more.
- COVID-19 Resources for Freelance Artists
- 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
- Make sure your donation dollars are well spent: Check out Coronavirus-focused charity ratings on Charity Navigator.
Travel during the coronavirus crisis
- For travel-related news and tips, check out the latest from The Points Guy.
MORE FROM THE HERMONEY TEAM ON LIVING THROUGH THE COVID-19 CRISIS:
- Jean lays out the questions you need to ask before you make any changes to your portfolio.
- Kathryn ponders whether or not one can secure a 0% mortgage thanks to the Fed rate cut.
- Dori dishes on what a recession really is, and how it will impact your finances.
- Christine tells us how to rock any work-from-home situation.
- Kathryn and Becca tackle 10 FAQ about coronavirus, stock market volatility, and your portfolio. .
- Dayana looks at how long stock market crashes, dips, recessions and corrections have historically lasted and what to expect going forward.
- Beth explains how your investment goals influence how you handle sudden stock market moves.
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