Coronavirus and Your Money: Answers and Resources

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Coronavirus & Your Finances: What to Know and Do
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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Whether you are worried about your job, bills, debt, retirement or any other financial impacts, money expert Clark Howard and Team Clark are covering the topics that matter most to you and your wallet.

If you have an immediate question, visit the virtual Consumer Action Center to submit your money question and a volunteer will call you as soon as possible.

Coronavirus and Your Money: Table of Contents

Economic Relief

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which infuses more than $2.2 trillion from the United States government in the economy, was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Team Clark identified four major areas that affect you.

Stimulus Check

Unemployment Benefits

  • What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits: If you’ve lost your job as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, help is on the way in the form of increased unemployment benefits. Here are some of the commonly asked questions you may have about the unemployment benefits specifically related to coronavirus legislation.

Student Loans

  • Should I Stop Paying My Student Loans Right Now?: All federal student loan payments and interest have been suspended through September 30. (This does not apply to private student loans.) Here’s what Clark wants you to do with your student loan payment during this time.

Small Business

Your Income

Are you worried about a smaller paycheck or a layoff right now? These resources can help you find a job for extra cash, prepare for a potential layoff, navigate the unemployment process and address your Social Security concerns.

Jobs

Layoffs

  • How to Prepare for a Layoff: Whether you feel like a layoff may be coming or you simply want to be prepared just in case, there are a few steps you can take now to prepare yourself financially and professionally.
  • What to Do if You’ve Been Laid Off: These steps are essential to protecting yourself financially during a layoff and preparing to re-enter the job market.

Unemployment

Social Security

Your Bills

If your bills are piling up and due soon, Clark doesn’t want you to lose hope. Instead, communicate early and often with your lenders! The following resources can help you decide which bills are most important, along with tips to help you figure out what to do before you miss a payment.

Housing

Transportation

Credit Cards

Stocks and Investments

The key thing to remember when you’re an investor is your retirement horizon: How long will it be before you need the money in your retirement account? If the answer is a decade or more, the crazy ups and downs of the market in the short-term have little or no bearing on your long-term plan.

Stocks

  • Should You Sell or Stay Put in the Stock Market?: “As long as you are invested for the right reasons — saving for your long term — and your money is diversified as it should be appropriate to your age, you just ignore the headlines and hang in there,” Clark says.

Investments

Travel

Team Clark is here to help you understand your travel options and rights during this unprecedented time.

Prepare Your Finances

Clark wants you to make a plan, not panic. If you take the steps to prepare your wallet and everything is better than you expect, your financial life will be healthier moving forward.

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