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Managing Bills in Uncertain Times 

Contributed by: Heath Combs

Lessening the financial strain of monthly bills due to economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could be the key to stabilizing your budget.

For those with trouble determining how to continue in the face of mortgage payments, credit card bills and other debts, there may be financial relief available to help keep your head above water.

Mortgage: For most people, this is their largest payment of the month – and the item that is probably the most critical to manage correctly. If you can pay your mortgage in full, pay it. If you can’t pay your mortgage or you can only pay a portion, contact your mortgage servicer immediately. If you can’t pay your full mortgage, then you can enter into a “mortgage forbearance” agreement. This allows you to reduce or delay your payments. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, as of April 26 there were 3.8 million mortgage owners who were asking to be put in forebearance. 

The percentage of loans in forebearance is now 7.54%, up from 6.99% in the previous week.  The problem, depending on your mortgage servicer, is that you may have to make all your delayed payments at the end of the forbearance period. Here are some websites to help you manage the process and common questions

Rent: In the middle of March, Cheri Beasley, North Carolina’s State Supreme Court Chief Justice, placed a 30-day suspension on courthouse activity across the state. This includes rental eviction hearings.

If you are having difficulty paying your rent, research the current policies carefully. 

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 31% of renters didn’t make their payment in the first week of April. Normally, about 20% don’t pay their rent on time. There are more than 40 million renters in the U.S. If you live in public housing, the federal government has stopped all evictions until July 24, 2020. Check this website for updates and details.

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas:  The company has temporarily suspended disconnections and is waiving late-payment fees “until the national state of emergency is lifted.”

Cell phones: Each company has its own policies. Contact your carrier directly or visit them online to see what their current policies are.

Student loans: Federal loans for students come under the CARES Act. All student loan payments have been automatically stopped from March 13 to Sept. 30. Here is more information. For student loans done through a private financial institution, you’ll need to check with that institution.

IRA withdrawls: The CARES Act allows hardship distributions up to $100,000 without the usual 10% penalty for people under 59½. For more information, visit this link.

Truliant can help 

Skip-A-Pay: Truliant Federal Credit Union has added three Skip-A-Pay months to many loan types: Automobile, Recreational Vehicle, Personal Convenience/Debt 180, Personal Line of Credit/Overdraft, Home Equity Loan, Home Equity Line of Credit, Share/Certificate/Stock Secured. The $25 fee has been waived. 

Truliant mortgage: If you are having trouble with your Truliant mortgage payment, call us, and we’ll connect you with our Mortgage Services team.

Truliant Certificates: If you need access to certificate funds, we are temporarily waiving early withdrawal penalties.

For more information on any of these programs or to make an appointment, call 800.822.0382 or view this page for more information, visit our dedicated Member Relief page.


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