As Covid19 hit and the economy shut down, it’s no surprise that banks and credit card companies are leading the way in trying to keep consumers stable financially. When the Federal Reserve lowered the interest rate to zero percent in March, it meant any money-lending institution could make a profitable loan to just about any customer.
Bank of America details a full list of assistance programs on its website that include waiving non-sufficient fund and monthly maintenance waivers and refunds for overdraft fees as well as assistance on credit card and loan payments.
Credit card companies, who usually make millions every month off late payment and over-the-limit fees, backed off penalizing their customers. Instead, they waived those fees and some cards even invited customers to skip payments for a month, if they needed the income to handle other responsibilities. Visit your card company’s website and see what types of assistance you can take advantage of.
The one part of the CARES Act that almost no one argued with was sending a $1,200 stimulus check to consumers making less than $75,000. That might be the most popular move the federal government has made in decades.
The IRS has sent out 159 million checks worth $267 billion as of the first week in June, according to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. However the government estimates another 30 million checks are still due to someone. If you are that “someone” go to the IRS website and check out your payment status there.
The $600 “added benefits” check the federal government tagged on to regular state unemployment benefits will end the final week in July.
The average state payout for unemployment is $300 a week and last 26 weeks. That timetable has been expanded to 39 weeks and freelancers and gig workers would qualify for the first time.
From a coronavirus standpoint, people unable to work because they are sick, quarantined or need to care for children because of COVID-19, were receiving an extra $600 a week, but as mentioned, that benefit end in July.
The federal government waived the 10% early-withdrawal penalty for taking money from your 401(k) retirement fund. Qualified individuals can withdraw as much as $100,000 to help them get through this crisis.