Homeownership Guidance, Advice and Blogs

As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.

Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.

Protect Your Credit During the COVID-19 Crisis

As the country faces enormous uncertainty during the outbreak of COVID-19, take these three steps to move through the crisis with your credit intact.

The last few weeks have seen unprecedented changes across the country as many workplaces have shut down because of the spread of the novel coronavirus and its resulting illness COVID-19. While your health and that of your family should be your top priority, there are steps you can take to protect your credit during this uncertain time.

Talk to your lenders 

This is one crisis that the world is going through together. Lenders recognize that borrowers are facing incredibly hard times and many are working to help their customers get through it. Contact your lenders today and tell them if you will not be able to pay your bills because of the COVID-19 crisis. They may be willing to extend payment deadlines or waive late fees. Some may even be willing to temporarily pause payments to help you out. Whatever your lenders agree to, make sure you get it in writing. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers suggestions on what you can tell your lenders.

Reach out to utility providers

If you’re facing a shortage of cash, your utility providers may be able to provide some relief. Some utility providers may allow you to delay payments, which could free up money for paying other bills. The key is, once again, to contact your utility providers as soon as possible to let them know you are having financial troubles.

Focus on the essentials 

When it comes to spending, now isn’t the time to splurge. While you may be tempted to upgrade to the most expensive cable package, it may be wiser to focus on the bare necessities, ensuring that your family has what it needs to keep your household running during this emergency. 

Your credit will be particularly valuable in the coming months ahead. By being proactive and taking action early, you are better able to maneuver through this crisis with your credit intact. HomeFree-USA will continue to guide you through these uncertain times. We are all in this together.