The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting people throughout the world. Many have lost their jobs or experienced significant pay cuts. Some businesses are struggling, and others have shut their doors. It’s no surprise that a lot of people are having a hard time financially. Times of crisis like the one we are currently in leave people from all walks of life thinking about their future.
The Covid-19 Pandemic Has Turned People’s Financial Lives Upside Down
Did you recently lose your job? Is your business struggling to make it out of the downturn? Are you struggling to pay the bills that you had no problem managing just months ago? As you do your best to keep your accounts in good standing and your household finances healthy, don’t forget to give your credit score some thought. You may be delaying large purchases right now – like buying a home, purchasing a vehicle, or going on vacation. But eventually, you will start spending again, and you’ll need to depend on a good credit score. Trust us, as Tennessee and Georgia bankruptcy attorneys we know!
Don’t Let the Covid-19 Pandemic Turn Your Credit Score Upside Down, Too!
You may know that you want to protect your credit score during the Covid-19 pandemic, but you may not know how to make it happen. Consider the following tips to protect your credit score during the pandemic.
How To Protect Your Credit Score During the Pandemic:
- Watch Your Credit Reports: Regularly review your credit reports from all three of the major credit bureaus. Free annual credit reports are always accessible, but through April 2021, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion allow consumers to pull free reports weekly. Checking your report more frequently is essential right now to ensure that any accommodations you may request from your lenders or accounts report accurately and that there are no signs of identity theft.
- Avoid Late Payments: During times of financial difficulty, it may not be possible to fulfill all your financial obligations. But make on-time payments a top priority. Late payments can negatively affect your credit score for up to seven years. During these unprecedented times, many lenders and account servicers offer special deferments and programs to assist those affected by Covid-19. Taking advantage of a special program is preferable to falling behind on your payments. A missed house payment is worse than a missed credit card payment. A repossessed car(even if it’s voluntary) is worse that that. Some lenders are willing to provide loan extensions, payment reduction, forbearance periods, or other repayment options that can be very helpful. When making this type of arrangement, make sure you receive the offer in writing.
- Look Into Possible Protections: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) offers protections that may help maintain your credit score and protect it from the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. In certain situations, the Act requires some agencies/companies to report payment information based on the consumer’s current standing when the agreement is made. The requirements are only applicable to agreements entered between Jan. 31, 2020 and 120 days after the Covid-19 national emergency officially ends. Look into the protections provided by the CARES Act to see if you qualify. It takes you to contact your creditor to get these protections. Don’t assume the lender knows and will extend you help. You must be the one who initiates a work-out deal.
If you are worried about protecting your credit score during the Covid-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. Many people, just like you, are struggling to make ends meet during these unprecedented times. If you need to talk about your options and how to get a fresh financial start by filing bankruptcy, trust the experienced Tennessee and Georgia bankruptcy attorneys at Kenneth C. Rannick P.C. We can help you determine your best options. We help good people through bad times every day, and we can help you, too.