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Parent Survival Guide: Companies forgiving late bills during the coronavirus

Updated: Apr. 20, 2020 at 7:57 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Battling the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people struggling to make ends meet and pay their bills.

But several companies are willing to work with you and delay some of those payments.

With more than 22,000 Americans filing for unemployment benefits in the past few weeks, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, many peoples finances continue to spiral.

“It’s a very hard time for people," Financial Coach Debbie Kidd says. “A lot of people got the last checks weeks ago and have not had any money since then."

She says although it’s a scary time it’s also a time many mortgage companies, lenders, and credit card companies are working with those who need help.

She says delaying some bills can be a simple as making a phone call.

“They’re doing forbearances for four months, especially if you have a car loan all of the car dealers and lenders are giving four month forbearances," Kidd said."So I have talked to a lot of clients and told them to give their auto folks a call."

A forbearance is meant to reduce or suspend your payments for a set amount of time. Kidd says make sure it does not come with an increased payment in the end.

“You want to know in August you can just go back to your regular payment without having a balloon in payment due. That’s an important question to ask your mortgage company as well as car lenders,” Kidd says.

Right now she says many insurance companies are helping clients and some are taking a percentage off your monthly bill.

Utility and credit card companies are also working with customers.

“Call everybody that you owe credit card companies," Kidd said."You want to give a call too because they are also deferring your payments and deferring interest during this time when you do not have a job. Utility companies are great because they’re not shutting you off."

She says it's important to remember after this crisis is all said and done those bill payments are all going to be due.

Many bills will be due at the same time. So if you can, it’s important to keep up with utility payments and phone bills and other bills.

Even if it means paying $100 towards each of them, try to stay as current as possible.

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