The pandemic of coronavirus COVID-19 has caused many to fall on hard times. With people losing their jobs and struggling to generate income, families across the country are struggling to make ends meet. This has caused Governors like Andrew Cuomo of New York to suspend mortgage payments. Zack Friedman of Forbes Magazine quotes Governor Cuomo saying, “This is a real-life benefit. People are under tremendous economic pressure. Making a mortgage payment can be one of the number one stressors. Eliminating that stressor for 90 days, I think, will go a long way.”
The recent crisis has caused me to reflect on Psalm 50:15 where David writes, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” What puzzles me is that bankers, credit card companies and lenders have already made provisions of assistance for customers experiencing hardship. But it seems like the customers are too afraid to ask. If provisions have already been made why not stand on your faith and ask for what you want? Today I’d like to give you guidance on who should you ask and for what so you can get the help you need.
Credit Card Payments
From American Express to Apple Card, most credit card companies are providing some kind of relief or forbearance when it comes to making your monthly payment. One suggestion would be to ask for the temporary lowering of your interest rate. You may also ask for a lower monthly payment during this period or removal of late fee charges. Some cards may even allow you to avoid past due payments and charges. If you’re really strapped for cash, ask for a waiver of the early withdrawal fee on your certificate of deposit.
So for some of you let’s just keep it 100. You probably need to turn in your car, get rid of the car note or get a cheaper car. All the car dealers now have programs for those going through this COVID-19 financial hardship. But, you won’t know what your options are until you call them and share with them your story. They are assessing each situation on a case-by-case basis. Options can range from deferment of payment to waiving of late fees or reduction of interest rates. Reach out now before they repossess your vehicle.
Can’t make your payment? Under Fannie Mae’s guidelines for single-family mortgages, foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days. Also, under this national emergency as a homeowner you are eligible for a forbearance plan to suspend, or reduce your mortgage payments for up to 12 months. Finally, if you are affected by COVID-19, you may request mortgage assistance by contacting your mortgage servicer.
If you are a tenant, ask your landlord for a partial deferment of your monthly rental amount due. You can always go bold and ask for a one month rent abatement! Point out you’ve been a model tenant, never paid late or complained etc. If applicable, offer services such as fixing the leak or painting the apartment to the landlord in exchange for a reduced rent. If allowable, you can rent out your designated parking spot for a month.
The choice is yours! You can remain trapped in your circumstances or you can ask for help in these COVID-19 times. If this pandemic has you in a time of financial trouble reach out to your lenders and call upon the Lord. “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2-3).