Consumer Credit Counseling Service News Articles
What do these Executive Actions mean for YOU?
Evictions: (No Federal Moratorium for Now)
The CARES Act had previously created a moratorium on evictions for federally subsidized housing and properties with federally-backed mortgages. Those protections expired on
July 25. (JUST IN: Moratorium extended through December 31, 2020!!) **You can view the press release at https://www.hud.gov/press.
USE AVAILABLE RESOURCES
Remember, first and foremost, you are NOT alone. Many people are working tirelessly on this issue. If you need help, consider reaching out to your local housing resources, including legal aid or other tenants’ rights groups. NFCC-certified agencies (like this one) can also help with rental counseling or budget and credit counseling, which may help you restructure your personal budget and debt obligations in order to make your rent payments. Make sure you stay informed about your rights, follow any developments in a new stimulus bill, and remain in close communication with your landlord. COMMUNICATION is key.
KNOW YOUR STATE’S LAW
There are some resources to help you quickly learn the current law in your state. You could check out the Eviction Lab’s COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard, which tracks current policies in every state. Nolo has a similar guide. You may also consult your legal aid organization.
In the early states of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration announced a plan for federal student loan relief that involved suspending payments and temporarily reducing interest rates to zero percent. The CARES Act later extended this program, and set an expiration date of September 30, 2020. In an executive memorandum signed last week, President Trump extended these protections through December 31, 2020.
REMEMBER: ONLY applies to federal loans.
If you are in the fortunate position to have money left over each month to put toward your student loans (and you don’t have other debt with higher interest rates), then continuing to aggressively pay the loans may be a great move. After all, the loans will be much cheaper in the long run if you prevent as much interest from accumulating. The order specifically allows for you to continue making payments if you would like.
Start setting aside money for when your monthly payments begin again next January. Reevaluate your budget and make additional cuts if you can, to help free up more fund for your savings and future loan payments.
The $600 in additional unemployment benefits, called for by the CARES Act, has expired. In response, President Trump signed a memorandum calling for “lost wages assistance program” that work similarly to the previous program but provide $400 in extra weekly benefits instead. Importantly, this new program has a new eligibility requirement: in order to receive the extra $400, you must be receiving at least $100 in state unemployment. This means if you receive less than $100 in state unemployment benefits, you will not be eligible.
Out of all the executive actions, this may be the one to watch the MOST CLOSELY.
Do NOT rely on receiving these extra benefits in the immediate future. There is no guarantee that the new program will be implemented in your state right away. Follow the news to learn about the developments of this issue, and stay in touch with your state unemployment office for the latest information and any action required on your part.
These changes may impact your situation. AND, there may be more helpful changes and programs on the horizon. For now, continue focusing on what you can control, like maintaining a budget and trying to stick to it each month.
We are here to help, contact a credit counselor, for a free review of your situation.
Excerpted from: Courtney Nagle, NFCC