Updated: Jul 7
It is safe to say that the Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives. Even if you haven’t lost your job or experienced a direct economic shock, there are some financial realities that you may not have considered. Here are a few tips to keep in mind regardless of how you’ve been impacted.
1. Manage your credit score
If your financial situation has changed due to Coronavirus, it doesn’t have to negatively impact your credit score. The first thing you can do is log into your credit score app (find out credit score apps that you can use for free) account to see what your current score is.
You can even dig around and see if anything specific has sent your score up or down recently. Knowledge is power, and knowing the current state of your credit score may help you maintain it if it’s strong or improve it if it could be better.
It could also open you up to better deals on products like home loans, personal loans and credit cards. With the current state of the economy scaring lenders away from lending as much as before, it pays to keep your credit score strong and healthy.
2. Now’s the time to get a loan, if you really need one.
In these uncertain economic conditions, many lenders are offering fewer loans with stricter lending requirements.
Since this situation may be far from over, you may need to act sooner rather than later if you really need a loan - for example you want to take one last opportunity to roll over all those holiday credit cards into one lower-rate personal loan. The good news is that there are still some good options out there. In fact, just log into any of the loan comparison websites and you’ll see a range of personal loan and credit card offers tailored just to you.
Compare a few of those options and adjust the loan amount to have a better chance of being approved.
3. Get some help
If you’re having a difficult time paying your bills, there are a number of resources that might be able to help you reduce or defer your payments. Here are a few:
Mortgage repayment holiday. Banks throughout Australia, including all of the Big 4, are offering mortgage holidays of up to 6 months to help those impacted by the current economic situation. Many banks, lenders and utilities also have financial hardship policies that will temporarily halt or reduce your payments so you can meet your obligations and avoid late fees and defaults. So contact your bank to see if you are eligible for assistance.
Free expert financial advice. If you find that your financial situation is more than you can handle alone, there are organisations that can help, like National Debt Helpline or various state-based debt advice services.
4. Shop around for better rates
If you’re in a position to apply for credit, you can potentially save a fair amount of cash by transferring existing debts onto new loans. For example, if you have a bunch of credit card debt left over from the holidays, you could transfer that debt to a personal loan, which often has lower rates than a credit card.
Keep in mind that there are always opportunities to succeed, even in the current conditions.
So if you have equity or cash doing nothing for you look to convert to investments that deliver a Positive Income.