We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you maximize your available cash and credit during this period and plan for unexpected expenses. Consider the following strategies for meeting your short-term needs:
- Inquire with your credit card company, bank, or lender about temporary relief. Calling the customer service number on the back of their credit cards to inquire about flexibility options during the coronavirus outbreak is one of the most effective moves you can make. Some companies have already made related announcements and set up specific COVID-19 response pages on their websites, and we have compiled a comprehensive list that we will keep updated here.
- Reorder your bill payments. If you are unable to pay all of your bills at this time, many companies are banding together to offer assistance in the form of late-payment forgiveness. During this time, most utility companies, as well as cable and internet providers, have pledged to waive late fees and suspend service disconnections. Many Internet service providers are also opening up their hotspots for Americans who require them, in order to connect as many people as possible. We have compiled a comprehensive list of utility and telecommunications companies that are providing assistance.
- Request an increase in your existing credit limit. Increasing your credit lines can help provide a buffer for necessary purchases, especially for consumers who no longer have a reliable income due to business closures caused by the coronavirus. To find out what they can do, simply call the number on the back of your credit card. A larger credit line may also help you improve your credit score. However, it is still critical to ensure that you are budgeting properly so that you do not end up further in debt. Many credit card companies have also announced emergency assistance, such as credit line increases and increased fraud protection.
- Obtain a “emergency credit” card. Applying for a 0% APR credit card can help you save money in case of an emergency. This can also help your credit score by increasing your account mix and improving your credit utilization. Increasing your credit limit, like increasing your credit limit, should be done in conjunction with a strict budget to ensure you do not accumulate more debt because you will need to pay it off eventually.
- Utilize Mobile Banking. Many banks have closed their branches, and utilizing mobile banking is a productive way to access your funds and all of your banking services without jeopardizing your or others’ health.
We hope that this information will assist you in stabilizing your finances during this difficult time. Please leave us a comment if you have any. Meanwhile, Credit Sesame can be a free and valuable resource for monitoring your finances during these uncertain times. Most importantly, please keep yourself safe and healthy.