How to Apply: Coronavirus Credit Card Relief Programs

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Due to the impact of the coronavirus, many people have lost their jobs and according to the Economic Policy Institute, 25.7 million workers are still unemployed as of last December. With no job, many are finding it difficult to make their credit card payments on time. Fortunately, credit card issuers have created relief programs to help those who have been negatively affected. Here’s what you can do:

How to Apply for Coronavirus Relief Programs for Credit Cards: 

  1. Call your credit card issuer or check online. Some banks have special customer service numbers just to handle requests for covid relief, and others allow you to sign up through their website. We suggest calling so you can ask the representative any questions on how the program works.
  2. If possible, explain your situation. If you have a chance to speak to a representative, let him or her know how your job was affected whether you were laid off or had your hours reduced. If you are married, you can also mention whether your spouse was affected. Either way, it will help you to say that you are facing difficulty in paying your credit card on time.
  3. Ask about the relief program. Depending on the bank, you may get different types of relief. Some benefits include: 
    • Lower interest rates 
    • Late fee waivers 
    • Deferred payments (skip a month without impact to your credit score)
  4. Understand how it affects you. Some banks will allow you to pay your credit card bill a month later but your account will continue to accrue interest, meaning you will need to pay more next month. It’s also possible that banks will reduce your credit limit to make sure you will be able to pay them back. Make sure to ask your bank what happens if you choose to enroll in its relief program. 
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