There is no doubt that the pandemic affected people very differently. Some people experienced an unexpected windfall thanks to stimulus checks and other government programs, a skyrocketing stock market, and decreased expenditures. Others lost their jobs, income, and livelihoods and found themselves facing an avalanche of debt, which they may still be working on digging themselves out of. In many cases, loans are no longer even an option since their credit rating most likely tanked, and they may have no way of paying a loan back even if they could get one. Thankfully, there are other options available. For people who are still experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic or any other reason, here are three resources to help you get caught up on overdue bills.
Although it has been nearly a year since the government passed the last bill filled with aid packages, some of the aid set aside in those bills are only just now starting to reach the people who need them the most. This can include things like rental assistance, food assistance, and help with energy bills. Before you let your bills go unpaid another month, check to see what government assistance might be available.
In many cases, the companies that you owe money to set up their own programs to help people experiencing financial hardships. Rather than just not paying your bill, try reaching out to the company you owe money to and see if they have any assistance programs available. At the very least, they can usually waive late fees and, in some cases, may even give you a grace period of a few months or more.
Social Media and Crowdsourcing
Most people are aware of the huge and unequal impact the pandemic had on people’s finances. Many people who experienced an unexpected windfall due to decreased expenditures and increased income actively sought ways to help those who experienced the other end of the spectrum and were struggling financially. Many people had needs met simply by expressing those needs on social media sites like Nextdoor and Twitter, while others had success raising funds for things they needed on a range of crowdsourcing platforms.