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Have you spoken to your credit card company lately?



How your credit card company can help you during the pandemic

credit cards, pandemic, help, assistance

During this pandemic, many residents up and down the Hudson Valley have been holding on to their cash. A wise move according to financial experts.  However, some basic needs still had to get paid, and the credit card was probably getting a bit overused.  The Consumer FinancialProtection Bureau cautions, however, that if you’re not able to make your payments on time, credit card debt can add up quickly and result in longer-term financial challenges.  What to do? 

If you can’t make your credit card payment, or think you might not be able to soon, notify your credit card company as soon as possible.  Many credit card companies are prepared to work with customers impacted by the pandemic.

In order to take advantage of any of these relief programs, you'll need to first contact your provider to formally request financial assistanceBe aware, however, that many companies are asking you to first visit their websites or use their mobile apps because they’re experiencing longer-than-normal wait times on the phone.

Here is a sampling of what most credit card companies are offering:

Lowering or deferring your monthly minimum payment

Many credit card companies are offering emergency forbearance, which allows you to skip or reduce your payments for a limited period of time. Keep in mind you’ll need to make up any skipped or reduced payments after your forbearance period ends. When forbearance ends, you won't be asked to make up missed payments immediately, but you will need to resume making at least your minimum monthly payments, which may have changed.

Waiving or refunding late fees

If you miss a payment, your credit card company would generally charge you a late fee. During the coronavirus pandemic, however, many companies are waiving or refunding late fees, if you request financial relief because of the pandemic.

Reducing your interest rate

A credit card’s interest rate is the price you pay to the company for the ability to borrow money. Your credit card company may temporarily reduce your interest rates for a hardship if you ask for it. Remember that the credit card’s interest rate will return to normal when the term ends.

Establishing a payment plan to pay off existing balances

If your hours have been reduced or you’re only able to make a portion of your payment, you may also be able to secure a repayment plan that works better for your current situation.



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