Hey guys, I recently attended a webinar featuring Patriots linebacker Brandon Copeland and CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger and their talk about finances during the Coronavirus pandemic. Brandon Copeland is definitely a very charismatic guy and Kathy Kraninger is very knowledgeable so if you all have the time, I think the stream is worth a watch. You can find the recording and all the resources they mentioned here. If you’re a little short on time, here are the key things that I took away from their conversation.
If you guys haven’t received one yet, go ahead and follow up on it. You can find information about your status on the IRS website or more information in general on the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) website. Even if you don’t need it, you can treat it as an unexpected windfall. According to Kathy, 35% of people who received their stimulus check ended up saving it and 36% used it to pay off debt. Either way, a little extra money never hurt anyone.
Loans and Other Dues
Whether it’s for mortgage forbearance, utilities, or student loans, all of these have relief options and programs. This is especially true if they are federally backed. If you have “Federally backed” or “Government Sponsored Enterprise” backed mortgages, you have a right to request forbearance (a pause or reduction in payment). Student loans that are federally backed are on a freeze until the end of the year. Utility companies, even phone and internet companies have relief options. Don’t lose hope if you have private loans! Reach out, regardless of who your lender is. Ask and you shall receive.
One of the first things you need to do to manage your money is know your situation or as Brandon calls it “know your personnel.” Keep track of everything you spend in a month, “the details matter, there are no small decisions.” Beyond that, know your long term goals. There was a question asked about building credit. When taking out a loan, thinking about the big picture can help. Ask yourself, “How can I raise my credit score?” or “What score do I need for this loan and what do I need to do to get there?” Fun fact: the three national credit reporting agencies are offering FREE weekly credit reports so take advantage! Mindset is important too, count your wins no matter the size and plan for the next one. During this time, building a habit of saving, regardless of the amount, can be beneficial too. Of course, no two situations are the same, so take the advice that works best for your personal circumstances.