This is the time to take care of ourselves and each other.As the world faces this frightening pandemic, many of us sit secluded in our homes looking for ways to take care of ourselves and each other. As a state we are choosing to adhere to State and Federal guidelines directing us to stay inside our homes, and practice physical distancing when we absolutely must step out of our front door. We have heard health experts tell us over and over again that by doing this we are increasing our chances of staying safe and we are better taking care of ourselves and each other.So, as we sit and look for things that we can do to stay strong and empowered during this challenging time, consider investing thought and action into taking care of your credit. Let’s face it. We can definitely take action to care for, not just our physical health, but we can also take care of our credit score in preparation for the day that we come out on the other side of this pandemic.So what can we do? The following are 4 things you can do to protect your credit during this crisis.
Keep In Touch With Your Lenders
The Coronovirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has provisions designed to provide relief to people impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued guidance
regarding credit reporting in an effort to provide clarity on the recent changes. In short, the Act will requires that if a consumer seeks relief from a lender, that lender must report the borrower as current on his or her loan.
If You Are Able to Make Your Payments on Time, Pay Them
Lenders are more flexible right now. However, if you have not been directly impacted by COVID-19 and you do not anticipate that you will be, you will want to make your payments on time as usual.
Take Time to Review Your Credit Report
Crisis or not, it is always a good idea to review your credit report. However, it is an especially good idea to do during times of financial distress. Remember that the you have a right to an accurate credit report as provided for through the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). You can download a free copy of your credit report once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com
. You can also sign up for free credit monitoring services such as Credit Karma. Doing this will allow you to check your credit scores regularly. If you come across inaccuracies, dispute them.
Make Your Credit Card Payments, Even if You Pay Only the Minimum Amount
While you might usually be inclined to pay your credit card statement off in full, if you experience financial hardship, consider making at least the minimum amount due on your credit card. Remember, as soon as you have more funds available, you can always pay your credit cards off or down While this will cost you more in interest, doing this can help save your credit score.These are challenging times and the truth is that many of us are afraid. However, there are things we can do to take action and keep our credit score as strong as possible.