We are reaching another billing cycle, and many Americans are concerned about paying bills and making payments on loans and credit cards because of financial hardships due to the coronavirus. But missing payments can affect your credit score.
One viewer called our coronavirus hotline saying, “I've never been late on a payment, and now I'm late. I just want it to not be reported to the credit bureau because I had to be forced to not work because of the coronavirus."
Another viewer called in and asked, "How do we secure those people that are without checks from ruining their credit which has already been hard to keep up with anyway?"
Here are some tips from MarketWatch.com:
Get a copy of your credit report
By law, consumers are entitled to one free copy of their credit report every year from each of the major credit bureaus. By getting your credit report, you’ll know exactly where you are and where you’re starting.
Make minimum payments
Late payments can negatively impact your credit score, so it’s better to make a minimum payment and paying something instead of no payment at all. Ask lenders to defer or reduce payments. Many lenders are offering relaxed payment terms or payment deferrals during the coronavirus pandemic. The stimulus package passed by Congress included language that guaranteed the rights of mortgage borrowers to request forbearance if they have a federally-backed mortgage. Also, banks and credit unions are offering to defer payments and waive fees for credit-card holders during the coronavirus emergency. In all these cases, consumers need to make a request to receive this assistance — lenders are not just providing it automatically.
Consider adding a ‘consumer statement’ to your credit report
In addition to the natural disaster, statement lenders can add to a person’s credit report if they’ve been granted forbearance, consumers can add their own statements. You can add a statement to your credit report that says something like “I’m affected by the coronavirus.”
If there is an issue you would like the 2 Works for You problem solvers to look into, then call our coronavirus hotline at 918-748-1502.
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