Protecting your credit during the coronavirus pandemic
Take some steps now to protect your credit for the post-pandemic future—the future we’re all daydreaming about—with these tips from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
1. The simplest advice: If you can pay your bills, you should.
2. If you’re having trouble, there are some protections through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that may apply and could help protect your credit reports and scores.
• Reach out—sooner versus later—to the companies you owe. Your mortgage servicer, credit card company, utility provider, cell phone provider, and landlords may be willing or required to pause payments, provide loan extensions, reduce interest rates, and offer other accommodations.
• Get the accommodation in writing and be sure you’re aware of the end date of the relief or agreement period.
3. Check your credit reports to make sure they accurately reflect the accommodations you’ve agreed to with your lenders. Free weekly credit reports are being offered by the three nationwide credit reporting companies through April, 2021. It can take a month or two for the info to update. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to request the free weekly reports.
4. If any of your lenders do not provide an accommodation for you, this will likely impact your credit report. You may be able to have a “special comment” added to your account noting that you were affected by the pandemic. This will not prevent your credit scores from being impacted. But a prospective landlord, employer, or lender may take it into consideration.
We can help
Call 1-800-288-3425 to find out how we can help you.
Find tips on protecting your finances during the coronavirus pandemic at www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus.