Congress Passed a New Pandemic Relief Bill; But Will the Financial Aid Suffice?

Finally, Congress approved a $900 billion economic relief package as lifeline for millions of Americans suffering from financial despair caused by COVID-19. Although the bill will still need Trump’s signature for the new coronavirus bill’s enactment, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that qualified Americans can expect to receive the stimulus checks as early as next week.

New Pandemic Relief Bill to Dole Out Paychecks Under New Rules

A weekly $600 paycheck will be sent directly to Americans who received salaries of $75,000 and below in 2019, while those who have filed for unemployment will receive an additional $300 per week economic relief. This particular component of the bills denotes that millions of Americans will not receive $600 as economic relief due to the conditions set as new rules by the approved Pandemic Relief Bill.

Those who do not qualify to receive the $600 direct payment financial assistance include dependent adults or senior citizens who have either retired or were forced to retire earlier this year in light of their greater vulnerability to COVID-19 infection. Nonetheless, they will qualify to receive a $300 weekly paycheck as unemployed individuals.

Married couples who filed their tax returns jointly qualify to receive $1,200 economic relief as single recipient; but only if their joint income in 2019 did not exceed $150,000. Unmarried couples though will qualify only the head of the family if their 2019 earnings do not exceed $112,000.

It is quite obvious that the financial assistance that the new coronavirus relief bill is not enough to lift people out of the financial distress that’s been confronting them since the original CARES Act expired in July 31, 2020,

Still, Democratic lawmakers are hoping to pass another coronavirus financial assistance package once President-elect Biden officially takes his seat as new POTUS. The likelihood of an additional coronavirus bill is greater if the Democratic party succeeds in attaining majority control of the Senate house, which a Democratic win in Georgia’s run-off election could seal.

Millions of Americans Facing Unpaid Obligations Due to Lost Sources of Regular Income

Although those that have been rendered unemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic were able to provide for their basic needs and/or their families, most of them earned by taking on odd jobs or freelance work.

Many are anxious that their inability to pay off financial obligations, such as unpaid balances on credit cards, private student loans and/or home mortgage loans have now been categorized and reported by lenders as bad credit loans. That being the case, the unpaid debts are not only running hefty additional interest charges but are also affecting their mental health. Many are worried over the consequences of poor credit history as it will reflect poorly on their credit scores.

Not a few financial experts are giving advice to the millions of Americans who have found themselves in a financial rut not to stress themselves out over credit scores. After all credit scores can only do so much, such as increasing their ability to qualify for lower interest rates or eligibility for larger discounts. Instead, what they should do is to call their lenders and negotiate for new terms that would allow them to avoid penalties and reduce the monthly payments of their past due obligations.

Generally, lenders, especially during these dire times, would prefer to workout deals rather than make legal demands, as they’ll have greater chances of collecting payments at lower costs. The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) for one gives advice not to get stressed over credit scores. Distressed borrowers should instead take action by seeking credit counselors online who offer free advice and online tools that indebted people can harness in managing their mounting debts.