If you need to get money fast during the COVID-19 pandemic, you have several options.
Here’s what you need to know.
How To Get Money: Coronavirus
If you need extra money – whether to pay for living expenses, rent, mortgage or other necessities – you’re not alone. Here are some helpful ways to get money:
If you’ve lost your job or been furloughed, you can apply for unemployment benefits immediately. You can apply online, by phone or in person in the state in which you last worked. In most states, you can receive unemployment benefits up to half of your wages, subject to a maximum benefit. You may be wondering: “How long do unemployment benefits last?” In most states, unemployment insurance lasts 26 weeks. The CARES Act – the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that provides financial support for Americans for the COVID-19 pandemic – provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment. That means a total of 39 weeks of unemployment benefits in most states. Through July 31, 2020, you also can receive $600 each week in addition to your weekly unemployment benefits.
Paid Sick Leave
Did you know that you can get paid sick leave due to COVID-19? If you want to know how to qualify for paid sick leave for Coronavirus, here are the details.
- You are sick or seeking a diagnosis: $511 per day (up to 2 weeks)
- You are caring for a family member: $200 per day (up to 2 weeks)
- You are caring for a child whose school is closed: $200 per day (up to 12 weeks)
These paid sick leave benefits last through December 31, 2020 and are available mostly through small and mid-sized employers. Check with your employer for more details.
By now, everyone is aware of the one-time stimulus check, which can be as much as $1,200 per individual and $500 per dependent. For many Americans, the stimulus check may not last long. What’s the best way to spend your stimulus check? After living expenses, there are several proactive financial steps you can take, including debt repayment and creating an emergency fund. Will there be a second stimulus check? It’s too early to tell, although there are several proposals, including a monthly $2,000 stimulus check and free rent and no mortgage payments. However, despite rumors, currently there is no $2,000 a month stimulus check.
Credit Card Advance
If you have a credit card, you may be tempted to borrow money from your credit card through a cash advance. Proceed with caution. Cash advances comes with high fees, high interest rates and could adversely impact your credit score if you can’t pay back the money. Interest compounds daily, so this can be an expensive option to get cash during COVID-19.
A personal loan can be an effective way to get an emergency loan or extra money for many purposes, including credit card consolidation, paying medical bills, home improvement, or any other major purchase. With a personal loan, you can typically receive funds within 1-2 days after your application is approved. Unlike credit cards, personal loans have fixed interest rates (e.g., the interest rate won’t change), so you make the same payment each month. Personal loans are flexible because you can pay off personal loans any time from one to seven years.
If you want to refinance your mortgage, and save money, now is a great time given interest rates are near an all-time low. However, mortgage underwriting has tightened, so lenders may be stricter in refinancing mortgages, particularly for jumbo mortgages. If you have significant equity in your home, you may be able to convert some of that equity to cash. However, several banks, including JPMorgan Chase
Stop paying student loans
Through September 30, 2020, you could conserve cash by pausing your federal student loans only. (The CARES Act does not apply to private student loans). That sounds like a dream, but it’s now law under the CARES Act. During this period, the interest rate is 0% on your federal student loans, and any non-payments count toward student loan forgiveness programs such as public service loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment. So, should you pay off student loans during COVID-19? It depends on your financial situation, but you could save a lot more money.
Refinance student loans
Student loan refinancing is one of the best ways to get money during COVID-19. Why? You can refinance federal student loans, private student loans or both. While federal student loans are currently paused, your payments will resume September 30 at your normal interest rate. Translation: your student loan balance is not going away. If you’re currently employed and have a credit score of at least 650, you can refinance student loans and save money that can be used for other essential expenses during COVID-19. How much money can you save? Let’s assume you have $80,000 of student loans at a 7% interest rate and 10-year repayment plan. Now, let’s assume you refinance at a 3.5% interest rate and 10-year repayment plan. You can lower your payment by $138 each month and save $16,534 total over the life of your student loans.
This student loan refinancing calculator shows how much you save when you refinance student loans.