The past couple of months have been chaotic for the global economy. US Congress was quick to cast aside their partisan loyalties and was able to pass an initial stimulus package meant to help all American taxpayers and small business owners. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is not without its controversy. But for the most part, it has had a positive impact on helping people.
However, even with the recent easing of restrictions and businesses once again opening up, some people are still without jobs and find themselves strapped for cash.
Here are just a few ways to ensure that you have enough funds to get you through until you find another job:
File for Unemployment Insurance
Lockdown orders in most of the United States saw many businesses retrench while others just folded. As of writing, the country recorded more than 36 million people applying for unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits were usually only provided to people who were actively seeking jobs. But with the CARES Act, you can still receive benefits from the government even if you are not looking for employment.
Pre-pandemic, you also needed to be employed for a specific time before you can file for unemployment. With the creation of the CARES Act, this is no longer the case, and even freelancers and gig workers can claim benefits.
Take note that only a portion of your weekly wages will be provided for you, and the guidelines will also vary by state. Check with your state to find out what you can expect.
Consider Refinancing Your Home
If you are a homeowner, now is an excellent time to consider refinancing. Rates for mortgage refinancing are currently low, and it is a good idea to take advantage of this situation. Pay particular attention to cash-out refinancing where you can take home the difference when you swap out your current mortgage for something more substantial. Best of all, it’s tax-free.
We won’t get into the mathematics of it all, but with this scheme, you could potentially take home a six-figure amount, depending on how much you still owe on your current home loan.
However, be aware that this scheme could also potentially have you paying back your loan for decades. Check with your provider and see what kind of refinancing options are available to you.
Take Advantage of Credit Card Deals
While this isn’t exactly “cash on hand,” sometimes this could also be the only avenue available to you if your savings are practically depleted. If you are already a cardholder with a particular bank, call and ask about 0% APR deals they might currently be offering. Finance experts say that most banks are willing to help out during a crisis, especially if you are a loyal customer.
Finance experts do warn that this should be your last resort. If anything, use this only for emergencies or if you are only looking at short-term unemployment (three to six months).
Halt Payments on Student Loans and Mortgages
As mentioned, most banks and financial institutions are willing to help out during a crisis. If you have been diligent with your payments pre-pandemic, your provider will be more than happy to work out a deal with you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them. They are in the best position to help you with your financial situation.