FAQs: Credit Cards and COVID-19
Updated: Aug 10
When people have questions about managing their debt during COVID-19, there are answers. Read through each of the topics below to learn how to manage credit cards during this extraordinary time. Credit card users should also remember that they have options when they want to keep their finances in order.
What Can A Credit Card Company Do For Users?
When credit users do not know what to do, they reach out to their credit card providers. There are a few things that users can ask for, including:
Deferring payments for a certain amount of time
Asking for lower minimum payments every month
Eliminating interest or late fees that make the payments lower
Increasing the credit limit to allow for emergency spending when needed
It is best to call the customer service phone number on the back of the card. Users can ask the bank for help with many different things, and the provider can transfer the user to the right place. Take time to talk to the customer service agent about all the possible options before asking for support.
That is not always the best option. Some people can stop making their payments if they have contacted the card issuer for assistance. The card issuer can allow some people to forgo payments for a specified amount of time. Some cards offer forbearance are the Apple Card and Goldman Sachs cards.
Because every card company is different, people need to call to ask for help. These companies will not forgive the payments completely, but they will offer a specific timeframe for repayment. Anyone who accepts assistance should ask for a repayment plan that will be easy to follow. Ask the card issuer if they will collect interest on these payments.
Who Can Offer Help To Customers?
Companies like Wells Fargo and AMEX are offering assistance to customers. Bank of America, US Bank, and Truist are other banks that are helping customers. The only way for people to know what they can do is to call the customer service number for help. You should make sure to look at the website for the card provider because their website might have special information that you can read before you call to ask for help.
Does This Affect My Credit Score?
When your credit card provider agrees to defer payments, they should not report those payments as late. You need to take copious notes to show and prove that you were not late. You can also dispute any issues with deferred payments to TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian.
You are allowed to get a free credit report every year, and you should take advantage of that credit report as soon as possible. You need to know that your public information is correct, and you can even contact the credit card issuer to have any late payments removed before disputing the notes with the credit bureau.
What If You Do Not Qualify For Assistance?
If you cannot get debt relief, you should ask for lower interest rates. The credit card company can drop your rates, and your payments will drop. If the credit card company does not offer any help, you can look for credit cards with zero interest. You can complete balance transfers that help you save money. The credit card company might have other companies that provide you with easier cards to transfer balances to. You might ask the company to transfer you to the corporate customer service office, and they might offer more help.
Are Credit Card Companies Being More Strict When Approving Customers?
In some cases, credit card companies are being much more strict when offering credit cards. Every company is different, but it is important to ask about how these companies allow for credit approvals. This means that some companies with zero interest rates might require a higher credit score than you have. You should also look around at car loans and home loans the same way until you find a company that is willing to work with you.
The Bottom Line
When you need help with debt relief, you should use all these tips to avoid problems with your payments and budget. You can save a lot of money when you are working with the credit card company to change your rates, defer payments, or even transfer balances to another card. You should make sure that your deferred payments are not reported to the credit bureau as late, and you also need to make sure that you have come up with a way to adjust your finances so that you can get through the pandemic. Working with your credit card companies is much easier than missing payments.