Federal, state and local governments have taken a number of steps to address the financial impact of the coronavirus. For example, the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Support (CARES) Act is a roughly $2 trillion stimulus package that Congress passed in March 2020, is providing Americans with a wide range of assistance, including cash payments, expanded unemployment benefits and relief from certain loan payments. When it comes to that relief, there are four key areas to consider:
Anyone with federal student loans, including Direct Loans, FFEL Program Loans and Perkins Loans, can suspend payments from March 13, 2020 until Sept. 30, 2020, and no interest will accrue during this time. This applies whether or not the loans were current as of March 13th. While these provisions don’t apply to private student loans, many lenders are offering payment deferment programs. In any case, check with your loan servicer to explore your options. Learn more with this Department of Education guide.
If you have a federally backed mortgage loan—about two-thirds of home mortgages fall into that category—you may qualify to be able to suspend your payments. Contact your mortgage service provider for details. You can download a guide to the new rules from the Federal Housing Finance Agency here. If your mortgage isn’t covered, contact your lender. Some banks have communicated that they’ll let you defer mortgage payments for certain periods of time and not report missed payments to the credit agencies. Deferment periods vary by lender, so make sure to contact your mortgage service provider to confirm their policy.