The Importance of Developing a Strategy for the Aftermath of Unprecedented Times

The rapid onset of the current financial effects of the public health concerns due to COVID-19 have impacted many, if not most American families in a very direct and often dramatic way.  
Most states have largely “reopened” but the effects and impacts linger.  
With many States “reopened” and most people returning to work, Now what?
A continuing strategy for coping with the financial impact of the public health emergency should be part of an overall strategy for ensuring the financial well being of you and your family.  An important step in developing and implementing an effective financial strategy is to set and thereafter monitor the effectiveness of priorities for your finances.  If you have not already done do you should consider the following in setting financial priorities and developing strategy:
(1) Housing
Housing and food should continue to be your top priorities. If you have a mortgage and are experiencing difficulty making your mortgage payment you should reach out to your loan servicer as soon as you can.  Contacting your loan servicer before you fall behind is often more beneficial and productive in the long run. If you are behind most are offering short-term forebearances.
If you rent speak with your landlord or on-site manager.  If you are able to make a partial rent payment then offer to make that partial payment and offer a plan for making the missed portion of the payment over time.   Followup with a letter or email confirming any agreement.        
Many utility companies are offering payment assistance or have discontinued disconnection of utilities for the foreseeable future.  However, this will not last indefinitely.  If you are behind on utilities reach out to the utility provider regarding a payment plan.  
(2) Auto loans
Reach out to your lender, bank or credit union.  It is important to communicate with the lender before you fall more than one payment behind.  The lender may have a hardship program that allows you to skip a monthly payment. 
(3) Credit cards, unsecured personal loans and student loans
Loan payments for loans not tied to any collateral should be well down your list of priorities.  However, this does not mean you should ignore unsecured lenders.  You should contact these creditors as soon as possible and ask for hardship concessions. This could include skipping payments altogether or making interest-only payments.
(4) If possible try and avoid taking on additional debt or be selective about the additional debt you take on
Banks and credit unions may offer short term loans to assist you in a time of need.  A short term loan may be worth considering to tide you over until you can return to work.  You should avoid payday loans, otherwise known as cash advances. Although these loans are easy to get and therefore very tempting they are incredibly expensive with interest rates that often exceed 400%. (compared to credit card interest rates which typically run between 12% and 30%).
The preceding is of course only an overview offering general information.  In troubled times it is often critically important to seek out and receive specific information and advice from an experienced professional regarding your situation from an experienced and compassionate professional. 
The attorneys at Kinkade & Associates welcome the opportunity to meet with you personally to discuss your situation and provide you with detailed personalized information about the options and a strategy that are best suited to your family’s circumstances.  Please contact us through our web site or give us a call to schedule your free no obligation initial consultation with a local attorney.
Thank you for visiting our web site and considering Kinkade and Associates.  
Kinkade and Associates, helping families rebuild their financial life. 

Kinkade & Associates, PC, 123 NW 4th Street Suite 201, Evansville, IN  47708   812-434-4909 PHONE 812-434-4831 FAX