Home » Recovering in More Ways than One: 7 Tips for Coping Financially in the COVID-19 Era
COVID-19 is affecting global health in more ways than one. It isn’t just raking up transmissions and death statistics, but it’s also destroying finances and creating economic distress in communities around the world. If you have been affected financially by COVID-19, know that there are steps you can take to recover from the problems caused by this unprecedented virus.
The virus has impacted individuals and companies everywhere, but the fintech sector is facing a two-pronged threat. To help people survive the economic impacts of the pandemic, the fintech industry has developed solutions that make it easier to make and access money.
For example, service providers like LoanPro and other organizations have created resilient and adaptable loan servicing software for small and medium businesses. With loan servicing software innovation, customers and loan officers can work together without having to meet face-to-face. By minimizing contact, loan officers and business representatives can take care of financial issues without putting each other in danger of transmitting COVID-19 virus.
In addition, many banks have also begun servicing their loans and other vital business operations virtually using services like teleconferencing, digital banking, and direct deposit.
Along with accessing safe and private loan servicing applications, you can take advantage of other tips that will help you cope financially in the COVID-19 era.
Take care of your mental wellness by taking small steps
Many people often feel guilty because they’ve had financial challenges. In this unprecedented time, everyone has had some traumatic experiences. Rather than making yourself feel bad, it’s time to take care of yourself and give yourself what you need.
You might need to tap into your emergency funds rather than adding credit card debt to your problem. It also might be the time to talk to your financial institutions about your loans and ask for forbearance or COVID-relief programs.
Along with being gentle with yourself, any steps you take need to be small and mindful. Do the best you can do, but take small steps to meet your financial obligations. Make small plans so that you can improve your financial and mental health. Not planning can increase feelings of anxiety, so sketching out your next few steps is an excellent way to beat the racing heart on payday.
Talk to your lenders and financial institutions
When you’re struggling with your finances, your financial institutions can help you. Recognize that you aren’t the only one who is suffering during this time, and you aren’t the only one who needs extra support. So, financial institutions are prepared to talk to people about their loans and financial situations. Many have developed programs to help people like you overcome their obstacles.
Many credit card companies can help you by waiving fees and allowing you to skip or lower some payments. To ensure the most leniency possible, be prepared before you make contact. Know your current financial status and how you expect it to change in the coming months.
Talk to debt collectors if they call
When you are in debt and not paying the piper, debt collectors tend to start calling. Rather than ignoring the incessant voicemails, talk to the debt collectors and negotiate payment plans with them. When you work with your debt collectors, they often try to accommodate you. These collectors want payments, even small ones, as COVID has impacted many lenders around the world.
You can ask the callers to send you information through the mail. This way, you can have a printed copy of the details about your account. You’ll also have the contact information for the lender so you can stay in contact with them if anything changes.
Be aware of your credit report
If you’ve got a bank account or a loan, you’ve got a credit report. As soon as you’re late with a payment, your credit report shows the problem, and the credit bureaus lower your credit score. Because credit scores affect insurance rates, rental prospects, and many other necessities, you should know your credit score.
It’s a good idea to check your credit report every few months. Check for accuracy in the reporting and contact the credit bureaus if you find a problem. The CARES Act includes information about how the government is helping consumers maintain their credit scores.
Watch for scammers
When people have trauma in their lives, scammers and predators try to take advantage of them. Vulnerable people tend to trust everyone who comes their way, and scammers know about this desperation. Criminals will try to phish for sensitive financial information over the phone or Internet, so do not give it out to anyone that you cannot confirm is an actual lender or representative from a real financial institution.
Know that bad people are out there trying to steal money from anyone they can. These scammers look for vulnerable people as well as people who aren’t tech-savvy, such as the elderly. If you have an elderly loved one who is having financial struggles, take time to review popular phone and Internet scams with them.
Most scams involve phony prizes, unusual email addresses, asking for sensitive information over the phone or via email, and making offers that are too good to be true.
Use online financial technology
One of the easiest ways to manage your money is by using online financial technology. Fintech companies have worked hard through the pandemic to create services and apps that let customers work with them from the comfort of their homes. Use the online apps to find better rates and products that help you better manage your finances.
Try to save money as soon as you can
Start saving as soon as possible to put your mind at ease and begin to reestablish your financial situation. Even if you start setting aside coins or putting aside $1 or $5 at a time, those small amounts start to add up the more you do it.
Remember to take small steps so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Putting small amounts of money aside might start to make you feel like you’re getting back to normal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented amounts of stress in nearly every aspect of life. It has stressed people at the workplace, reduced opportunities for human interaction, and wreaked havoc on financial accounts. Taking time to support yourself with mindful tips financially will help you get back on track to growing your savings and paying your bills.