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Monitoring your credit during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)- In the pandemic, there’s already a lot to worry about… One thing you don’t want to worry about is your credit.

One Tampa Bay area woman who applied for help under the Cares Act found out, her credit took a hit anyway.

“It was really disheartening,” Natasha Goodley who lost income because of COVID-19. So like many people, she applied and received part of $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March.

“With the assistance, they’re paying mortgage or rent of your business. So I applied because I’m self-employed and my income went down about 65 percent,” she said.

What she didn’t expect was that the help would end up affecting her credit.

“I have Experian credit management,  so I went there and sure enough 30 days late reporting on my credit.”

That’s because the promised payment wasn’t paid on time.

“So I contacted the credit union and they said, we didn’t receive your payment, and reporting it to credit agency is of course what we do.”

8 On Your Side learned it’s not what they should do. Under the CARES Act, if your account is current and you agree to make a partial payment, skip a payment, or other accommodation, then the creditor is to report you are current on your loan or account.

Financial experts say it’s important to always keep an eye on your credit. “We’ve all heard the initials CDC, but I’ve got another CDC… communication, documentation, and confirmation,” said Steve Overton with Ameriprise Financial.

Overton suggests people keep accurate records of everything.

“You want to be sure everybody knows, and you have a record of it if someone later tries to say it’s a problem,” Overton said.

Goodley did that with her lender and now she’s in a fight to fix it.

Keep in mind, if you are already delinquent on a payment and you’re taking advantage of CARES, that delinquency will report as exactly that until it’s all cleared up. Everything applies until 3 months after the national emergency concerning COVID–19 ends.

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