Here at Jarbucks, we understand 2020 has been an unprecedented year and millions of Americans are unemployed and struggling to pay their bills. How will COVID-19 impact the credit score you’ve been working hard on building?
Here are some things to keep in mind:
There are big changes ahead. One important factor you must be aware of is that the CARES Act, which brought you stimulus checks and expanded unemployment, has changed the rules surrounding credit reporting. Under this new law, if you intend to enroll in a hardship assistance program, your creditors must consider your account as current as long as you weren’t already behind on your payments. For example, if you are current on your mortgage, and have lost your job and filed for hardship due to COVID, your account may remain current. If your account was not current when you enrolled, your lender may continue to report your account as delinquent until you bring it back into good standing.
Your balance will likely continue to accrue interest. While you may not have to make payments now if you’re enrolled in hardship assistance, these missed payments will continue to accrue interest over time. While skipping payments now may not impact while on hardship assistance, once the program is over, you may have to start making payments on a larger balance.
Hardship assistance programs will end at some point. While we don’t know how long these programs will last, you must continue to keep in mind that these will eventually come to an end and you will need to start making payments again to your lenders.
The Ascent. “Will Coronavirus Hardship Assistance Programs Hurt My Credit?” May 14, 2020. https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/credit-cards/articles/will-coronavirus-hardship-assistance-programs-hurt-credit/