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.
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Coronavirus and Your Money: Table of Contents
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.
- What You Need to Know About Your Upcoming Stimulus Check: Who gets a stimulus check? How much? And when will it arrive? This article answers many of your frequently asked questions.
- 4 Things to Do With Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check: There are four things you can do with your stimulus check: Spend, save, invest or donate the money. But which option should you choose? This guide can help you decide.
- How to Track Your Stimulus Payment Before It Arrives: Whether it’s coming by mail or direct deposit, here’s how to make sure your check is on the way!
- Where to Cash Your Stimulus Check if You Don’t Have a Bank Account: If you are expecting a physical stimulus check but don’t have a bank account, here are the best ways to get your money.
- 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.
- 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.
- What’s in the Coronavirus Relief Package for Small Businesses: The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on small businesses throughout the country. The United State Federal Government is taking measures to help. Here’s what you need to know.
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.
- Companies Hiring During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Do you need extra income or a new job? The good news is that companies are hiring! Check out this list to see which companies have openings right now.
- Work From Home Guide: Legitimate Work-at-Home Job Opportunities: If you want to work remotely, start with Team Clark’s comprehensive guide.
- How to Get a Job During a Recession: While an economic recession isn’t the best circumstance imaginable during your job hunt, it certainly doesn’t mean you won’t get hired. Follow these five simple tips to get started.
- 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.
- 9 Things to Know Before You Apply for Unemployment: Filing for unemployment insurance is a sometimes complicated — but necessary — step for American workers without income. Team Clark consulted an expert to answer the most common questions.
- How Do I Apply for Unemployment?: The application process for unemployment insurance varies by state. Use this guide to get started.
- Should I File for Social Security Now?: Under normal circumstances, Clark says to wait until 70 to start taking Social Security. However, in today’s economy, a lot of people in their 60s may be without work. That shifts the math on when to claim Social Security benefits — for some. Here’s everything you need to know.
- Does Collecting Unemployment Affect Social Security in the Long Run?: If you are wondering what impact unemployment compensation will have on their future Social Security benefits, we have good news…
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.
- How to Decide Which Bills to Pay First When You Have Limited Money: If you lose your job or if your paycheck is reduced, you might not have enough money to make all of your monthly payments. Here’s the order in which Clark recommends you pay your bills.
- Falling Behind on Bills? 8 Steps to Get Help From Creditors Fast: If you are falling behind on loan payments or credit card bills — or think you might be soon — follow these steps to get help from your lender.
- What Should I Do if I Can’t Pay My Mortgage or Rent?: Are you worried about how you’ll pay your mortgage or rent in the coming months? You have options! Follow these tips before you miss a payment.
- Should You Refinance Your Mortgage Right Now?: You could save a lot of money doing a mortgage refinance under current conditions. Here are a few questions Clark has received that could help you before you start the process.
- Should You Still Buy or Sell a Home in 2020?: Here are some things Team Clark wants you to think about if you’re considering buying or selling a home during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
- Should I Still Close on My Residential Real Estate Purchase?: Before you back out of your home purchase, read this first.
- Forbearance vs. Deferment: What’s the Difference?: Both forbearance and deferment can help you press pause on payments to creditors when you’re financially struggling. But there are some differences between the two.
- What Do I Do if I Can’t Afford My Car Payment?: When you are going through your bills, Clark says transportation is a priority after food and housing. The key is to not hide from your lender! Here’s what you need to know.
- Should You Refinance Your Auto Loan Right Now?: Did you know you can refinance your auto loan? This option could be good for people trying to reduce costs during the coronavirus pandemic. Find out the best place to refinance so you can save the most money.
- Should I Update My Car Insurance Policy Right Now?: To make sure you’re paying a fair price for how much you are using your car right now, consider these three options.
- Should You Cancel Your Car Insurance During Coronavirus?: If you won’t be driving your car for an extended period of time, you might be able to make some adjustments to your auto insurance policy. Here’s what you need to know.
- Should You Buy a Car Right Now? 5 Things to Consider: There are tons of great car deals, but is now the time to buy? Here is Clark’s advice.
- What Should I Do if the Dealership Won’t Take My Lease Back?: If you’ve reached the end of the lease and it’s a vehicle you don’t need, Clark suggests that you take these three steps.
- How to Maintain a Car You’re Not Driving During Coronavirus: There are four big things you can do to keep your wheels in the best possible shape if you’re not going to be driving for a while.
- What Should I Do if I Can’t Pay My Credit Card Bills?: “Banks operate on a mode that people who contact them tend to be looked at differently than people who hide from them,” Clark says. Follow these tips before you miss a credit card payment.
- Should You Apply for a 0% APR Credit Card Right Now?: With a troubled economy on the minds of many Americans, is now the right time to add a 0% APR credit card to your wallet? This guide can help you decide.
- Should You Downgrade Your Credit Cards During the Coronavirus Pandemic?: We’ll walk you through three reasons why downgrading your credit card could be helpful and three things to consider before getting rid of your current card.
- Best Credit Cards for Groceries During the Coronavirus Pandemic: There are a variety of rewards credit cards that can pad your wallet as you buy your essentials. And this article will highlight some of the top choices based on your shopping habits.
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.
- 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.
- What Do I Do With My 401(k) if I Am Laid Off?: When times get tough and you’re out of work, you may be tempted to tap your 401(k) for living expenses. These tips can help you do it the right way.
- What Should I Do About My Investments if I’m Retiring This Year?: Whether you are about to retire or already retired, you might be nervous about your finances right now. Clark has a few tips to help you navigate your investment portfolio.
- What Should I Do if My Company Stops Matching 401(k) Contributions?: You could actually earn more in the long term! Before you make any decision to stop contributing to your 401(k), here’s what you need to consider…
- Should I Convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?: “Although it is possible that stocks could continue to decline, there’s already been a huge decline — meaning that the cost for you of converting shares from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA has gone way down, roughly by about a third,” Clark says. Here’s how to do it!
- Should I Take Money From My 401(k) Right Now?: These unprecedented times have caused many to consider making some difficult financial choices. If wondering about your options, here’s what you need to know about borrowing from your 401(k) today.
Team Clark is here to help you understand your travel options and rights during this unprecedented time.
- Coronavirus and Travel: What You Need to Know: Many of us have hundreds (and possibly thousands) of dollars worth of air travel, accommodations and tours booked for future travel that we now know won’t happen anytime soon. This guide can help you navigate your travel rights during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Should I Book a Summer Vacation Right Now?: Here is how Clark is handling his 2020 travel plans.
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.
- Coronavirus: Follow These 3 Steps to Prepare Now for a Recession: The reality is that the coronavirus pandemic will result in smaller paychecks or no paychecks for some Americans. Here are three things you can do right now to prepare for a recession.
- 7 Ways to Improve Your Finances While Self-Isolating: Are you staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic? You may have extra time on your hands! Here’s how to improve your finances while self-isolating.
- 5 Expenses I’m Cutting Because of Coronavirus: If you’ve lost your job or are worried about a layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic, you might want to consider working on your bare-bones budget! Here are five things you can cut right now.
- How I Got 3 Major Credit Card Issuers to Lower My Interest Rates: Concerned about the possibility of carrying a credit card balance during the coronavirus pandemic? You may be able to lower your interest rates by contacting your card issuers right now.
- How to Stock Up in Case of an Emergency: If you’re looking for ways to be prepared, Team Clark put together this resource of five main categories that you should keep stocked up and specific tips for getting started.
- 7 Ways to Keep Your Credit Score Healthy During a Crisis: Maintaining a good credit score can be especially difficult during times of financial uncertainty. Still, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the impact when circumstances take a turn for the worse.
- 7 Things That Are Cheaper During the Coronavirus Pandemic: There are a few things that are actually cheaper right now. Check out this list to see where you can save some money.
- Where Should I Put My Emergency Fund?: Clark recommends you have between three to six months of living expenses stored in your emergency fund. Here’s where to put your emergency savings.
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