As COVID-19 continually affects the health and economy of the entire globe, a growing number of people are suffering from a lack of enough finances to address their daily needs. Their income may have been cut into half, or worse, they have become unemployed as companies continue to shut down. This situation affects the financial stability of all individuals, including those who are maintaining a good credit score.
Maintaining your credit score may seem unnecessary at this time, but you need to protect and secure it because you will never know when you will need it. The very purpose of maintaining a good credit score is for you to have an excellent reputation and creditworthiness to lenders.
Checking your credit report is one way of protecting your credit score, but how should you address financial instability during this pandemic?
Here are what you should do to protect your credit score in three different situations:
If you have a stable income: Pay your bills on time
Having an on-time payment history ensures that your credit score will continually improve. If you have a steady source of income during this pandemic and you think you still can pay your bills, then make sure to pay ahead of the due date.
If you can not pay on time: Ask for assistance from your creditor
If you have an unstable source of income during the pandemic, regardless of what reason, make sure to contact and ask for financial aid from your creditor as soon as possible. To date, many credit card companies are helping customers by waiving late fees and lowering interest charges.
What you need to do is:
- Prepare yourself to discuss your current financial situation honestly
- Discuss how much you can afford to pay for the meantime
- Inform your creditor when you can resume with regular payments
Credit card companies know the gravity of the situation, so they would likely be understandable and considerate to customers who are struggling to keep up with their payments. Make sure to contact your creditor so they can arrange a unique solution that works for both parties.
If you have a growing credit card balance: Consider a balance transfer
If you really can not pay on time and see your credit card balance continues to go up, consider getting a balance transfer. Through this process, your debt will be transferred to another card that features a lower interest rate. This allows you enough time to get back on your feet as it minimizes the debt burden for you in the meantime.
What a balance transfer does is eliminate unnecessary interest payments on your credit card balance. Once you have overcome the situation, make sure to pay your debt immediately to avoid the further growth of your debt.
The coronavirus pandemic will surely leave a long-lasting impact on the global economy, so learn how to cope with this situation and protect your credit score. Take immediate and proactive action when dealing with financial instability. If you think you can not pay on time, make sure to ask assistance to your creditor or consider other options such as balance transfer.