I need help with money
Are you in a cash crisis situation and urgently need money for food or other essentials? The resources on this page could help you get the help you need. A cash crisis could be caused by anything from delayed benefits to job loss that leaves you severely short of money that you need for essentials like food. If you find yourself in this situation help is available. Read our guide to dealing with reduced income caused by the coronavirus outbreak. A foodbank is a free service that provides food for people who are struggling with money.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Money Saving Tips -- How To Save Money (Best Strategy)
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If you have a question that we have not answered about various forms of relief — or something you can offer that large numbers of people can access — please write to hubforhelp nytimes. Ron and Tara will read every message.
The giant economic stimulus package will enable the federal government to begin making the payments, though the amount you receive will depend on your income. People who earn more will see their payments decrease until they phase out completely. And you generally need a valid Social Security number to collect as well. If the Internal Revenue Service already has your bank account information from your or tax returns, it will transfer the money to you via direct deposit based on the recent income-tax figures it already has.
You can find out more about checking on the whereabouts of your payment here. The new relief package made significant, albeit temporary, changes to the way the unemployment insurance system works and increases benefit amounts until July Under the plan, these state programs now cover far more people than are usually eligible, including self-employed people and part-time workers.
States set many of their own rules, including for benefit amounts, which are generally calculated as a percentage of your income over the past year, up to a certain maximum. Some states are more generous than others, but unemployment typically replaces roughly 45 percent of your lost income. Most states pay benefits for 26 weeks, though some states have trimmed that back. It also extends by up to 13 weeks the time period for which state-level benefits are available for many workers.
The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the outbreak, but there are lots of exceptions. Some workers can also get 12 weeks of paid leave to care for children whose schools are closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the outbreak, but fewer workers qualify for this type of leave. Part-time workers will be paid the amount they typically earn in a two-week period, up to the daily limits.
People who are self-employed — including gig workers like Uber drivers and Instacart shoppers — can also receive paid leave, but they must calculate their average daily income and claim it as a tax credit. There are gaps, though. Employers with fewer than 50 workers can deny workers the child-care leave but not the sick leave if it would be hard on their businesses, and companies with more than employees are excluded from the rules entirely. Many workers at big businesses already have paid sick leave, but their low-wage workers are the least likely to be covered.
The New America Foundation has published a detailed list of large employers mostly consumer-facing companies like retailers, restaurant chains and hotels and their policies. If you have a federal student loan, you should automatically receive some relief without lifting a finger: Borrowers will be placed in so-called administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making payments from March 13 until Sept.
No interest will accrue during the administrative forbearance period. Usually interest continues to pile up when borrowers pause their payments because of a hardship. Interest you accrued before the period began will also not be rolled into your loan principal, according to a Department of Education spokeswoman. The Education Department says loan payments that are skipped under the administrative forbearance will still count toward loan forgiveness for borrowers in income-driven repayment and public service loan forgiveness programs, as long as the other usual requirements are fulfilled.
Your loan servicer will have more details. But keep in mind that for now, this relief applies only to federal student loans owned by the Education Department, such as direct loans including those in default.
Loans issued through state agencies and others, including big private lenders like Sallie Mae, are not covered. Other loans not covered include the majority of Federal Family Education Loans, which are mostly held by commercial lenders, and school-held Perkins loans.
Some private lenders are offering relief programs. A third big private lender, Wells Fargo, says it will offer help, but a spokesman said the bank would not commit to a set number of months or any other specifics. To see if your loans are eligible for this temporary pause, try contacting your loan servicer — the company where you send monthly payments — online or by phone.
If you do not know who your servicer is or how to contact it, go to StudentAid. Millions of homeowners have already pressed the pause button on their mortgage payments, now that their financial lives have been upended by the pandemic.
Under the CARES Act, homeowners with mortgages backed by the federal government are permitted to temporarily suspend their payments , a move called a forbearance, for up to a year. This covers about 70 percent of mortgage holders and includes loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration known as F. After the forbearance period is over, however, the skipped payments must be paid back. And how that is done will vary depending on your personal circumstances — and who owns your loan.
If you have a federally backed loan, you should be presented with several different ways to become current on your mortgage — and none of them require you to immediately pay the money back in a lump sum but you can if you want to. If you can afford to resume your regular payments, you might pay the money back over several months, for example, or settle up when the home is sold, refinanced or when the mortgage term is up. People who cannot afford to make their mortgage payments after the forbearance period expires will probably have to modify their loan to lower the monthly amount , a more formal process that will require an application.
To find out which entity may control your mortgage, you can search your address on various government websites.
For more information, check out our short resource guide here. Federal housing officials have also announced a nationwide eviction and foreclosure moratorium for borrowers with loans backed by Fannie, Freddie and the F.
This includes foreclosures that are already in progress. A coalition of mortgage industry groups representing banks, finance companies and others has said it will also grant payment suspensions of at least three months — and up to 12 months — to homeowners whose loans are not owned by Fannie or Freddie, but they have said their effort requires a federal backstop.
This offers information on local organizations that can provide advice to renters in distress. Desmond is also the founder of Eviction Lab; it is publishing a list of local and regional actions to pause evictions of renters. The emergency stimulus bill put a temporary, nationwide eviction moratorium in place for any renters whose landlords have mortgages backed or owned by Fannie, Freddie or the F.
The moratorium applies only to eviction for nonpayment; tenants can still be evicted for other reasons. Regulators have also told landlords whose own mortgages are owned by Fannie or Freddie that they too can use forbearance, just as long as they do not evict tenants after they pause their mortgage payments.
The challenge for renters is figuring out whether their landlord has such a mortgage. This information sometimes appears if you look up the address in the National Housing Preservation Database.
New York, for example, has suspended eviction actions until further notice. Some utility providers are offering to stop cutting people off for nonpayment. A full list of companies is available on the Federal Communications Commission site. It is not yet clear whether companies want customers to call to invoke this relief and provide proof or whether they will offer it automatically to everyone. People who need help should call and ask. They include Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.
In Washington state, the main Seattle area utilities are suspending cutoffs as well. In addition, the provider of electric and water service in Seattle is allowing people to self-certify their recent income reductions in order to qualify for at least half off their bills. In California, Pacific Gas and Electric has, until further notice, stopped shutting off its services to consumers and businesses who have not paid.
In New York, Con Edison also has temporarily suspended any electric and gas service shut-offs. If utilities in other areas follow suit, they are likely to publish alerts somewhere on the top of their websites or in the news release section of their pages. You have three extra months to file your federal income taxes. The federal government has moved the tax filing deadline to July And there may not be any extension on your property taxes, according to an article by our colleague Ann Carrns; local governments are simply too hard up for money.
How to help. Our colleagues have already written about ways to give away a stimulus check and online direct giving. Meanwhile, demand at food banks is overwhelming. Many people with changed circumstances can get subsidized health insurance or change their current plan.
Eleven states, including some hit hard by the coronavirus — like California, New York and Washington — have opened enrollment under the Affordable Care Act to allow laid-off workers to get subsidized health insurance.
In May, the I. And here is a more general guide to getting or keeping insurance, with updates on very recent rule changes. Should you stop k contributions if you still have a job?
Maybe not. Yes, market crashes are nauseating, especially if you have not experienced one. No one can say for sure when the market will stabilize, but time is in your favor: You have years — decades, even — to reap returns when the market rises again. Need another pep talk? Let Ann Carrns help here.
Consumer lenders have offered to help. But some have been more generous than others. Since he wrote it, both Ally Bank and Bank of America have offered to allow borrowers to defer loan payments. Many credit unions , meanwhile, are offering assistance with loans , debt consolidation and other services. Building an emergency fund in an emergency.
Ann has some advice for how you can build up a little extra cash on hand. Financial planners offer free advice to distressed individuals. Dozens of members of the XY Planning Network have offered to help people through phone consultations.
The Financial Planning Association has its own list of volunteer certified financial planners, as does the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Where to get Social Security help. The Social Security Administration is mostly closing its 1, offices for routine requests like help with benefit claims. In-person assistance is still available for crucial services, like reinstatement of benefits and assistant for those with severe disabilities.
Those seeking in-person help must call in advance. Mark Miller has details here. How to prep for refinancing your mortgage. Mortgage rates are low right now, and refinancing is a good way to free up cash. But that means everyone else is trying to do it, too.
What a shady sales pitch looks like.
Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis
Taking control of debt, free debt advice, improving your credit score and low-cost borrowing. Renting, buying a home and choosing the right mortgage. Running a bank account, planning your finances, cutting costs, saving money and getting started with investing. Understanding your employment rights, dealing with redundancy, benefit entitlements and Universal Credit.
Need Emergency Financial Assistance? These Resources Can Help
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Need help paying your heating or phone bill? Grants are issued via states, which receive funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. Each state sets its own eligibility requirements, including income levels. The Lifeline program offers discounted phone and internet service. Lifeline is an income-based program, so you must meet certain eligibility requirements.
If you have a question that we have not answered about various forms of relief — or something you can offer that large numbers of people can access — please write to hubforhelp nytimes. Ron and Tara will read every message. The giant economic stimulus package will enable the federal government to begin making the payments, though the amount you receive will depend on your income. People who earn more will see their payments decrease until they phase out completely. And you generally need a valid Social Security number to collect as well.
One answer is to seek a personal grant. Think you may qualify? Let us explain how these personal grants work. Check out our personal loan calculator.
Beginner’s guide to managing your money
We understand how difficult it can be to get help with finances, but know that there is hope. This article outlines the ways you can find your way back to financial security through government assistance, nonprofit programs, and online fundraising. Start a free fundraiser.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: "I Don't Need Money, I Need Help!" - Dragon's Den
Taking control of debt, free debt advice, improving your credit score and low-cost borrowing. Renting, buying a home and choosing the right mortgage. Running a bank account, planning your finances, cutting costs, saving money and getting started with investing. Understanding your employment rights, dealing with redundancy, benefit entitlements and Universal Credit. Planning your retirement, automatic enrolment, types of pension and retirement income.
6 Ways to Get Free Money From the Government
When you need money, you can raise cash in several ways. When you need money quickly, try selling items you no longer need. That includes clothes, collectibles, gift cards, items for your hobbies or sports you play, and more. With craigslist and a deep pool of buyers, you may be able to get the money you need within a few days. They may have several options for postponing or changing your payments. Avoiding foreclosure: You may be able to participate in a debt workout program with your lender. Ask your loan servicer about income-driven repayment options and other forms of relief.