The coronavirus pandemic has changed daily life for nearly everyone. You might work decreased hours from home or not have a job at all anymore. Maybe you’ve thought about becoming a delivery driver or spend your time taking care of at-risk family members instead.
The expert scientists and researchers leading the worldwide response aren’t sure when life can return to normal, which makes it difficult for those who can’t pay their rent or mortgage. With a decreased or nonexistent income, many are wondering how they can keep their homes while they wait out this storm.
Learn some tips for making your rent payments or paying off your mortgage during the global health crisis. You may not have the same financial life as before the pandemic began, but you can still do a few things to ease your nerves.
1. Call Your Landlord
The first thing any renter should do is call their landlord. You’ll need to know where they stand on rent payments and if they’ve sent any notices or updates. They might have written an email you missed regarding upcoming deadlines or payment options.
If they haven’t, a phone call is also your chance to discuss a payment plan. Let them know what your job situation is and mention your history with always paying your rent on time, if applicable. Ask if you can have an extended deadline for paying half your rent, so you can make small deposits once a week or every two weeks. They’ll still get their full amount, but you’ll have more time to get the money.
2. Look Into Emergency Loans
Renters can also look into emergency loans to cover their rent. Instead of a traditional loan, you can apply for an emergency fund online and receive it within 24 hours. Depending on which companies you look into, you may only need proof of a steady income or a good credit score to get a loan up to $30,000.
3. Remember the Eviction Freeze
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a national eviction freeze in mid-March for homeowners. Although this doesn’t apply to apartment or home renters, you can talk with your landlord about the chances of an eviction freeze in your rental community. They may postpone their standard eviction policy considering the state of the economy.
Another way to get landlords to consider freezing eviction notices is to get more people in your community to speak up. Ask your neighbors for written testimonies about their financial situations or to show up at your landlord’s office with you. If your landlord sees a way to help their entire community, it may encourage them to take action instead of angering and potentially losing most of their renters in the coming months.
4. Talk With Your Lender
Homeowners also have a few options to help them make their mortgage payments during the global health crisis. Consider which kind of loan you took out to buy your home and see if you can reach out to your lender.
Most people use conventional loans to get their homes, which depends on your credit score at the time of your property purchase. If you have this kind of loan, call your lender and use your good credit score to leverage a discounted or delayed payment. Your history of always making payments on time will help them reconsider your installments until you can get back on your feet.
5. Refinance Your Mortgage
Many people refinance their mortgages when they find themselves struggling with their finances, so many will do the same during this global pandemic. You can refinance to get a lower interest rate that lowers your monthly payment, although it may mean you sign up for a longer term. See what your options are by shopping around for refinancing terms and compare them with what you currently pay to decide which one would give you the most significant discount.
6. Liquidate Your Home’s Equity
Over the past years or even decades, your home may have gained equity because the value increased, or you paid off a large portion of your mortgage. Homeowners can tap into their home’s equity when they opt for cash-out refinancing, which leaves them with a potentially larger mortgage by immediate money upfront. After you subtract what you owe from the new loan, you can use whatever’s leftover for upcoming mortgage payments or other financial needs during the next few months.
Write Your Options Down
As you compare your options, you’ll want to make a list of the pros and cons of each decision. Once you compare those lists, it’ll be clear what your next financial move should be. Whether you rent or pay a monthly mortgage, there’s a way forward through this global health pandemic that can help with your financial worries.
About Kacey Bradley
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more!