Coronavirus in US: How to stay financially healthy during pandemic

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – While you make sure you’re staying physically healthy during the coronavirus crisis, it’s also important to stay financially healthy.

There’s a lot packed into the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package but no protections to insulate your credit score.

“I pushed for that until 30 minutes before the agreement was signed,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said.

Brown says consumers – especially those who are now out of work – need that kind of protection. Even though it wasn’t included in the bill, financial experts say you can still help yourself.

The first step is to find out your current credit score.

“I recommend people go to AnnualCreditReport.com just to see what’s on there,” Financial Expert Pete Dunn said. “That’s the free resource to get your credit report.”

If you’re out of work or making less than usual, Dunn says you should still try to make at least minimum monthly payments.

“As opposed to trying to get out of debt,” he explained. “Trying to get out of debt is not the focus right now.”

Dunn also says it never hurts to call your creditors.

“Communicate with them. Be honest with them. You’re not telling them a story, you’re just communicating,” he said. “And that helps because they can mark it in your file if there’s grace to be extended – by all means – you’ll be in line for that.”

Even though the relief package won’t protect your credit score, other federal policy changes can help.

“If you have federal student loan payments, you’re going to be able to defer those,” Dunn said. “If you have an FHA loan, you’re going to be able to put that into forbearance.”

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