Ask For Help While You Can…
It is understandable that you may need to reach for the credit cards when times get tough. We all know that accumulating large amounts of credit card debt can put a drag on our financial goals. However, when things get tight there may just be no other choice. This is a dilemma faced by many families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Have you had to use your credit cards more to meet your basic needs? Most if not all of the major credit card companies are working with customers impacted by the pandemic. Banks and card companies are offering COVID-19 credit card relief. They come in the form of waived fees, deferred payments, payment extensions, credit line increases, and more. However, you have to reach out and ask for them.
The credit card companies have been lenient, but do not think that means they will automatically ignore late or missed payments. It is up to you to take the initiative and contact customer service and specifically request the type of assistance you are looking for, such as a waived fee, or differed payment.
How To Start
Usually, you could simply call the number on the back of your card. But since the coronavirus outbreak, many issuers are experiencing extremely high call volumes and are instead advising customers to first try online correspondence, often via webchat or secure message. If you go to your card issuer’s website, you will likely even see a banner that says “have you been impacted by COVID-19” and you can click on that to request the help you need.
Every card company and bank is offering different relief options. Do not assume just because you heard that one company is offering one or two months of deferred minimum payments – that yours is too.
In other relief efforts, card companies may be reducing interest rates, or offering credit line increases. If you are unable to make your usual payments make sure to contact your issuer and ask for help. You’ll hopefully buy yourself additional time to pay and avoid fees, interest and a negative impact on your credit report.
Have you asked your credit card company for COVID-19 relief? What has been your experience? Please reply using the comments below.