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

The recent stimulus bill passed by the Biden administration paved the way for new Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus checks. The IRS will begin distributing these checks in mid-March, 2021.

  • Adults and children earning less than $75,000 per year will receive $1,400 checks.
  • Those making between $75,000 and $80,000 will get less, and those making more than $80,000 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 20, 2022. You can download your free reports each week through annualcreditreport.com

Federal Student Loan Relief

  • Federal student loan forbearance has been extended to September 30, 2021.
  • 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.
  • The March 2021 relief bill stipulated that student loans forgiven between December 31, 2020, and January 1, 2026, will not be taxed.

Mortgage Relief

  • The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has been extended the foreclosure moratorium through June 30, 2021. Homewowners with FHA loans cannot face foreclosure due to nonpayment through this date.
  • The FHA has also extended the time that homeowners can request their initial 180 days of forbearance under the CARES Act through June 30, 2021. That is the deadline for homeowners to request forbearance, although the forbearance period itself lasts six months and an additional six months can be requested if the homeowner’s hardship continues.

Eviction Protection for Renters

  • The Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) has also extended the eviction moratorium on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rental properties. This means renters cannot be evicted due to nonpayment in a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac property through June 30, 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.
  • The March 2021 stimulus package provided an extra $20 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.

Tax Relief

  • Many taxpayers will not have to pay taxes on up to $10,200 of unemployment assistance income from 2020.
  • The Child Tax Credit will be higher for 2021 tax returns. Instead of $2,000 per child, the new credit will be $3,600 for newborns to five-year-old children and $3,000 for those between ages six and 17.

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. The loans will be offered until March 31, 2021.
  • (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) EIDL grants got a $15 billion boost from the March 2021 bill.

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 March 12, 2021. Published by Debt.com, LLC