Symmetry Financial Group: How to Pay Off Debt During the Pandemic
While it is always a challenge to manage finances, bills, and debt, new considerations can arise during a global crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, some 43 million Americans have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment. For these and many individuals whose salaries have been reduced or whose hours have been cut resulting in reduced income, facing the stress and economic challenges of this difficult period means having to pick and choose which bills get paid right away, and which bills get temporarily left on hold.
For many Americans, meeting financial challenges – and especially paying off debt – already presented a major problem even before the onset of the pandemic. A study conducted in 2019 found that some 70% of individuals surveyed had less than $1,000 in savings. The majority of people report that they do not have enough money in savings due to the fact that they live paycheck to paycheck. While this paints a bleak financial picture for our country, there are some simple steps you can take to help you manage the challenges of this financial crisis to come out ahead.
Make a List of All Your Monthly Expenses
List all of your monthly expenses so you can easily keep track of them. Be sure to include rent or mortgage, auto loans, utilities, credit card debt, student loans, medical bills, personal loans, and any other bills you may have such as gym memberships, tuition, child support payments, or subscriptions. Don’t forget to also factor in expenses such as food, medications, clothing, school supplies, and other essentials.
Make Paying Debts a Priority
Prioritizing certain debts is essential in cases where non-payment will immediately impact you and your family, such as mortgage and car payments. Because these are debts are tied to a tangible asset, if you don’t pay your debt, you could eventually end up losing the asset. In the case of your mortgage, this could mean your home going into foreclosure. Similarly, the bank could repossess your car if you don’t make your monthly car payments. These payments are very important to make, because missing car payments or defaulting on your loan can affect your credit report for seven years. Fortunately, many auto lenders have recently announced programs that may allow you to defer payments under the current circumstances, but you must contact your lender to inquire about their offer, because each lender has its own terms and conditions.
Talk to Your Lenders and Vendors
One thing to remember is that you’re not alone during this period. Because so many Americans are facing dire economic challenges, many lenders and other companies have developed special programs to help those in need right now. Reach out to your lenders to see if they are offering any payment plan or deferred payment options to help you manage your debt. You may be able to work out a new payment plan with lower monthly payments, deferred payments, or a lower interest rate. Any changes that you discuss with an agent should be confirmed in writing to make sure you are protected under the new terms.
Consider Refinancing or Mortgage Relief
With interest rates dropping at this time, it may be a great time to consider refinancing your mortgage at a lower interest rate that could result in a lowered monthly payment. If you cannot make your mortgage payment, be sure to contact your lender immediately and discuss your options. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published a guide to COVID-19 mortgage relief programs to help you find the right solution for you.
Manage Your Student Loans
Managing your student loans and getting them out of the way temporarily may be easier than you think, if you take advantage of the deferment or forbearance options offered by the Office of Federal Student Aid. If you qualify for the forbearance option, you could forego making monthly loan payments through September 30, 2020. By opting for forbearance, you can focus on paying higher priority debts such as your mortgage and car payments. Contact your student loan company to find out what debt relief options they offer.
Get a Debt Free Life Plan
Ideally, the best approach to getting through this temporary crisis – and even to plan for a secure financial future beyond the crisis – would be to focus on eliminating all your debt without spending any extra money. If this interests you, contact Symmetry Financial Group to speak to one of their agents about Debt Free Life, a cash value life insurance plan that can help you pay down debt while protecting your dependents with life insurance coverage in case anything happens to you.
Symmetry Financial Group’s Debt Free Life program is a life insurance policy that accrues a cash savings value, which you may use to pay down all your debts. This proven method has helped thousands of individuals pay down debt while also planning for retirement. The Debt Free Life plan allows you to pay down your debts on a schedule that is manageable for you, with most participants successfully paying off debt in nine years or less. Once you finish paying off your debt, you may use the remainder of the money in the policy’s cash value toward your retirement savings.
And because Debt Free Life is also a life insurance policy, your loved ones will be protected with comprehensive coverage that can provide for them in the event that you pass away or become critically ill or disabled. Debt Free Life can provide total peace of mind for you and your family during these exceptionally trying times, by knowing that you and your loved ones will be protected in the event of unexpected misfortune.
Let Symmetry Financial Group Help You Find a Solution
If you’re interested in learning more about how life insurance products such as Symmetry Financial Group’s Debt Free Life plan can help you manage your finances during the pandemic, contact a Symmetry Financial Group agent online to discuss how you can enroll in a personally customized debt payment plan that also protects you and your loved ones.