fbpx
 

Helpful Ways to Prioritize Bills During a Financial Crunch

woman looking at papers

If you are one of the millions of Americans on furlough due to the coronavirus, you may be scrambling to cover your bills. Let’s take a look at what financial experts are advising so you can make an informed decision about your finances going forward.

Triage your bills

Financial expert Clark Howard recommends putting your most basic needs, including food and shelter, before any other bills now. Make sure you can feed your family before using your limited resources for loan payments or credit card bills. Similarly, your family needs a place to live, so mortgage or rent payments should be next on your list.

Housing costs

On March 18, President Donald Trump instructed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to immediately halt “all foreclosures and evictions” for 60 days. Also, in early March, the Federal Housing Finance Agency offered payment forbearance to homeowners affected by COVID-19, allowing them to suspend mortgage payments up to 12 months. These loans account for approximately 66 percent of all home loans in America. They will eventually need to be covered, though conditions for repayment vary by lender.

Speak to your lender about your options before making a decision. If you’re a renter, be open with your landlord. They may be willing to work with you.

Paying for transportation

Missing an auto loan payment can mean risking repossession of your vehicle. This should put car payments next on your list of financial priorities. If meeting that monthly payment is impossible right now, it’s best to communicate with your lender and come up with a plan that is mutually agreeable to both parties.

Household bills

Utility and service bills should be paid on time each month, but for workers on furlough due to the coronavirus pandemic, these expenses may not even make it to their list of priorities. Most states have outlawed utility shutoffs for now. Also, many providers are willing to work with their clients. Visit the websites of your providers or reach out to them by phone to see what kind of relief and financial considerations they’re offering consumers.

Unsecured debt

Unsecured debt includes credit cards, personal loans and any other loan that is not tied to a large asset. Clark urges financially struggling Americans to place these loans at the bottom of their list of financial priorities for now. At the same time, he reminds borrowers that missing out on a monthly loan payment can have a long-term negative impact on a credit score.

Here, too, consumers are advised to communicate with their lenders about their current financial realities. Credit card companies and lenders are often willing to extend payment deadlines, lower the APR on a line of credit or a loan, waive a late fee or occasionally allow consumers to skip a payment without penalty.

For Ideal CU members in need payment relief due to financial difficulty caused by COVID-19, we offering the following:

  • Temporary payment relief: You have the option to skip up to two month of payments on Auto, Rec Vehicles, Signature and Home Improvement Loans, and Visa Credit Cards. There is no fee for the Skip-a-Pay. Click here to start the process.
  • Personal Loan: If you need a small, low-interest personal loan to you help meet your financial needs we are here to help. Simply apply online at your convenience.
  • New Loans: First payments on new consumer loans will be extended up to 90 days. This applies to Auto, Rec Vehicles, Signature and Home Improvement Loans.
  • If you need assistance with your existing mortgage or business loans please contact us.

Unprecedented times bring financial challenges and unique needs. Ideal Credit Union is here to help. Please call us at 651-770-7000 with any questions or concerns. Be safe and stay healthy. Together, we will get through this.

Related Posts

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.idealcu.com/

2021 - 22 Holiday Hours

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, January 18th
All locations closed.


President's Day
Monday, February 15th
All locations closed.


Good Friday
Friday, April 12th
All locations open regular business hours
Lobby - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Drive-thru - 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Memorial Day
Monday, May 31st
All locations closed.


Independence Day
Sunday, July 4th
All locations closed.


Labor Day
Monday, September 6th
All locations closed.


Columbus Day
Monday, October 11th
All locations closed.


Veterans Day
Thursday, November 11th
All locations closed


Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 25th
All locations closed.


Day after Thanksgiving
All locations are open regular business hours
Lobby - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Drive-thru - 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Christmas Eve
Friday, December 24th
All locations open until 1:00 p.m.
Lobby - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Drive-thru - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Christmas Day
Saturday, December 25th
All locations closed.


New Year's Eve
Friday, December 31st
All locations open regular business hours
Lobby - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Drive-thru - 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


New Years Day (2021)
Saturday, January 1st
All locations closed