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Crisis Help

Access the resources you need during this challenging time with the following ABA Foundation tips.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial hardship for millions of Americans, and ABA and the ABA Foundation are working in lockstep with our banking partners to support consumers during this difficult time.

Keeping yourself informed of your options is an important first step to weather this crisis. This webpage is designed to help you find the answers and support you need. For the most current information on COVID-19, please be sure to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Housing Payments

For more information regarding help for homeowners and renters, go to our COVID-19 Housing Relief Options page.

Other Monthly Bills

The Biden administration placed eligible federal student loans under forbearance. You may stop making payments on eligible loans through August 31, 2022.

  • Banks across the nation are encouraging customers experiencing financial hardship to contact them directly for support. They are also taking steps to respond to the needs of individual and business customers directly affected by the pandemic, while continuing to execute their own business continuity plans under challenging conditions. 
  • Many utility companies are offering deferred or temporarily reduced billing.
  • The Department of Education automatically placed eligible federal student loans under forbearance. You may stop making payments on eligible loans through January 31, 2022. Contact your federal loan servicer to determine if your loans are eligible. If your loans are not eligible, be sure to review other repayment options available for your loans.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau developed a host of "tools to help you when you can't pay your bills."

Contact a Housing and Credit Counselor

Counselors are professionally trained to help you assess your situation and evaluate the best financial options to consider. For assistance contact:

Economic Impact Payment: What Is It, and Who Is It For?

On December 21, 2020, congress passed a $900 billion economic relief package to assist U.S. consumers and businesses affected by the pandemic. Qualifying individuals receive a direct payment from the U.S. Treasury For answers to common questions about these payments, please refer to the Economic Impact Payment FAQs.

Enhanced Child Tax Credit

As part of the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion law signed by President Biden to provide additional support to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, families can access an enhanced Child Tax Credit. Currently applicable only to 2021 taxes, families with children may receive early payments from the IRS representing 50 percent of the estimated Child Tax Credit that they can claim on their 2021 tax return. The expanded credit increases the tax credit to $3,000 per child ages 6 through 17 or $3,600 per child ages 5 and under. Children may qualify for the credit so long as they are U.S. citizens or resident aliens with social security numbers. Eligible families will receive these advance payments between July and December 2021 based on the information in their 2019 or 2020 tax returns. For more information, visit the IRS directly to learn more.

Need Help Creating a Bank Account?

Many banks open accounts for most customers online without you ever needing to step into a bank branch. That is important because most bank branches are restricting access due to coronavirus concerns. Search online for banks that offer digital account opening, and reach out to banks to see if they are offering new, flexible ways to become a customer.

For more information, visit ABA Foundation resources on finding the bank that’s right for you. You can also learn about the Bank On movement to access low-cost, basic bank accounts. 

Protect Yourself and Create a Plan

Be Wary of Scams

Scammers prey on people’s fears. They use fake websites, bogus products, emails, texts messages and social media posts to find ways to steal your financial assets and your identity. Learn more about tips to avoid coronavirus scams and how you can protect your financial assets.

Review Your Credit

Your credit report contains financial information that lenders rely on to determine if they would be willing to lend to you. It contains information on how much debt you have, how frequently you pay your bills, how much credit you have access to, whether or not you have filed for bankruptcy or have a judgment rendered against you.

Under federal law, you are entitled to a copy of your credit report annually from the three credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Be sure to review your information to ensure the reports are accurate.

Adapt Your Budget

It’s a good time to streamline your budget for food, utilities, housing costs and other obligations. Identify “wants” and “needs” and focus on your needs at this time.

Check out ABA Foundation's resources on managing your money for more information.