Your credit and COVID 19.
What a crazy title right? Well it's a crazy time right now and believe it or not there is a direct correlation between the two. There have been many different "topics and actions" introduced during this pandemic. Programs like the CARES Act and the PPP have been rolled out designed to help people and the country in this unprecedented time of need.
Additionally, as a part of some of these programs, there have been moratoriums put in place allowing people to temporarily stop paying their rent and mortgages without the worry of being evicted or foreclosed on. Further, there have even been actions put into place allowing the stoppage of payments on student loans, car loans and even credit cards.
All of theses recent actions may help countless numbers of people and at the same time may infuriate countless others depending on their individual situation. As a result, many spin-off questions and discussions have arisen. When do people have to start making their payments again? Do people have to pay back the payments that they missed? If so, when? Do the missed payments have to be made in one lump sum? What if people can't afford to pay off the balances in a lump sum?
These are all very valid and for a lot of people, very scary questions but the one question that hasn't really been asked is, "What is going to happen to my credit report and credit score while I am missing these payments"?
So here we are, people actually have true acknowledgment and essentially "permission" from their creditors to skip these payments, but how will this affect their credit scores and thus their financial future? Are these people ruined?
The short but not so simple answer to this question is no. Theoretically, a consumer should be safe from negative reporting due to COVID caused financial losses. New legislation has been proposed and put in place such as "The Disaster Protection For Workers’ Credit Act" The act proposes that, "an immediate four-month moratorium on all negative credit reporting and longer protections for people who face lasting financial hardship from the outbreak". Further, "The bill will also provide free, unlimited credit reports and credit scores for a year
from the end of the crisis".
While these types of new legislation should help put people's mind at ease a little, we say . . . Be aware and be on the lookout! We have found that the credit bureaus and creditors are not always following the rules when it comes to some people's credit report and these new moratoriums.
At this point you may be finding yourself asking, "Now what"? "How do I know if this is happening to me and can I even do anything about it"? The good news is yes, there is definitely something that can be done about it. You should be regularly checking your credit report as a habit anyway, but during times like this it is more important than ever. So get a copy of your credit report and start searching it account by account, line by line. Do you see something that looks out of place? Do you see something that you don't recognize? If you do, you need to gather all of your supporting documents and go on the attack against the credit bureaus and your creditors. A good defense is a great offense! You need to defend your credit report and make sure it is all accurate.
If this all sounds overwhelming, then reach out to us for help. That is what we do and we have been doing it for over 25 years. We are the best, #1 in the nation as it were! You may be asking yourself, "What if the event actually happened and I did harm my own credit"? That's ok, we can help with that too. We never charge for helping obtain a new credit report, reviewing it and offering advice.
For FREE help getting a FREE credit report and having it reviewed for FREE and also getting lots of FREE advice, call us today (480) 557-7400 or visit us at ACreditClinic.com
The Credit Clinic - Est. 1993
Helping Our Community for Over 25 Years
60 E. Rio Salado Pkwy #900
Tempe, AZ 85281