Debt.com is dedicated to keeping consumers updated on financial changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The following points are consistently updated to reflect the latest laws that could affect your wallet.

COVID-19 Relief Programs

Economic Impact Payments

After Congress approved a second round of stimulus at the end of 2020, the IRS began to distribute a new round of Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus checks.

  • Adults and children earning less than $75,000 per year will receive $600 checks.
  • Those making between $75,000 and $87,000 will get less, and those making more than $87,000 will not receive a check.

Check the status of your payment here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

Free Consumer Credit Report Access

  • The three major credit bureaus in the U.S. (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) are providing consumers with free weekly credit reports through April 2021. You can download your free reports each week through annualcreditreport.com

Federal Student Loan Relief

  • Federal student loan forbearance has been extended to January 31.
  • Interest rates on federal loans are also frozen, so any payments made during this time will be wholly used to pay off the principal debt.

Mortgage Relief

  • The Federal Housing Authroity (FHA) has been extended the foreclosure moratorium through February 28, 2021. Homewowners with FHA loans cannot face foreclosure due to nonpayment through this date.
  • The FHA has also extended the time that homeowners can rtheir initial 180 days of forbearance under the CARES Act through February 28, 2021. That is the deadline for homeowners to request forbearance, although the forbearance period itself last six months and an additional six months can be requested if the homeowner’s hardship continues.
  • In one of his first executive orders, President Biden requested further extension of these deadlines through at least the end of March. Federal housing agencies are currently reviewing the situation and may extend these deadlines accordingly.

Eviction Protection for Renters

  • The Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) has also extended the evicton moratorium on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mact rental properties. The means renters cannot be evicted due to nonpayment in a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac property through February 28, 2021.
  • Renters can check the status of their property through the Fannie Mae Resource Center or Freddie Mac’s Rental Property Lookup
  • The second stimulus package included $25 billion in rental relief. These funds will be distributed at state, county and municipal levels to provide grants to renters who would be facing eviction due to nonpayment. Contact a local HUD-certified housing counselor or call 211 in your area to find relief resources that may be available to you.
  • President Biden also requested the FHFA to extend the eviction moratorium through at least then end of March and possibly beyond. The FHFA is currently assessing the situation and may issue a new extension soon.
  • President Biden is also asking Congress to provide an additional $35 billion in rental relief in the third stimulus package.

Tax Relief

  • Business meals can be fully deducted as a business expense instead of at the usual 50 percent.

Medical Billing

  • Part of the December 2020 relief bill includes a provision against surprise medical billing. Patients should ideally receive a cost estimate that’s as accurate as possible three days before the procedure.

Small Business Relief

  • Some small businesses could be eligible for a second PPP loan.
  • (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) EIDL grants are coming back, and some businesses may be able to get the full $10,000.

Free Financial Crisis Resources and Guidance

This global pandemic is going to have far-reaching effects on people’s finances. It’s important to get informed, so you can take the right steps to maintain financial stability in the short-term and protect your interests long-term.

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Article last modified on January 26, 2021. Published by Debt.com, LLC