A Penny Saved, a Penny Earned: 6 Financial Resources to Get You Through COVID-19
By: Joe Wilson
CCA’s Middle School Principal and Director of Finance, Joe Wilson, has six tips designed to give you financial relief not just during this challenging season but if you ever find yourself in a financial bind in the future.
More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment during this COVID-19 pandemic, according to Debt.org. Although many cities are in their re-opening phases, families across the country will still continue to face financial hardship for months and perhaps years to come.
Here are six tips to provide relief if you ever find yourself in a financial bind:
God is in control and knows our needs. He will carry you through and provide.
Look Into Your Eligibility For a State Scholarship
Step Up For Students (SUFS) is an income-based scholarship that many CCA families benefit from. If your family of five has a household income under $92,040, you meet the income threshold to qualify! The program still has scholarships available for the 2020-21 school year and is working with families recently affected by COVID-19, even if they exceed the income threshold as of last year. There are other scholarships that CCA accepts, including the Gardiner, Hope, and Folds of Honor scholarships, among others.
Contact Your Bank/Credit Card Company
Some banks and credit card companies are offering payment relief during this crisis and are willing to work with their clients. Give yours a call or visit their website to see if they have any support programs in place.
Student Loan and Mortgage Forbearance
According to StudentAid.gov/coronavirus, “The CARES Act provides repayment relief for loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education. To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020, but you can still make payments if you choose.”
. . . federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance.
Many mortgage servicers are also offering forbearance options for those affected by COVID-19. You will want to make sure to check if the loan term can be extended, or if the missed payments can be added to the end of your loan rather than being due in a lump sum at the end of the forbearance period.
Consider Creative Ways to Earn Extra Money
If you have the time and bandwidth, perhaps you can consider starting a side job. There are some that don’t even require you to leave your home. Companies like Beachbody, Arbonne, MONAT, and Young Living are designed to give you the tools you need to build your own small business. You can also consider babysitting (Care.com), pet sitting (Rover.com), food delivery (Instacart/Uber Eats), and selling items you no longer need/use on eBay,OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace.
If you went on a closet cleaning spree during quarantine, you can see if Plato’s Closet or another kind of consignment store will give you cash for your clothes and accessories; there are even online consignment websites like Poshmark.com, ThredUp.com, and Menswear-market.com. I also encourage you to pray to see how God can use your talents and abilities in a greater capacity to help support your family.
I also encourage you to pray to see how God can use your talents and abilities in a greater capacity to help support your family.
See Where You Can Cut Costs and Save Money
Did you know that some bills can be negotiated? Call your cable, home security, and/or internet provider and ask for a lower rate. You can also negotiate a lower interest rate on your credit card.
Now is also a good time to shop around for more affordable insurance policies for your home, vehicles, and any other assets you may have. Working with an independent insurance agent or agency that partners with multiple carriers will help you save time and mental energy when it comes to finding the most competitive quotes.
According to Debt.org, “The federal government will waive the 10% early-withdrawal penalty for taking money from your 401(k) retirement fund. Qualified individuals can withdraw as much as $100,000 to help them get through this crisis.” There are other tax considerations for withdrawing money from your 401(k) early, so make sure you consult with a tax professional. This option should be your last resort, as not to jeopardize the retirement funds you worked hard to secure for your future.
I know these are tough times for many, but God is in control and knows our needs. He will carry you through and provide. Let’s continue to trust in Him and His promises!
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” -Philipians 4:19 (NLT)
*If you are a CCA parent who has recently lost your job or have experienced a significant loss of income, please email Kimberly Esper if you would like to apply for tuition assistance.
Joe Wilson received his undergraduate degree in Finance from Flagler College and obtained his master’s degree from FAU in Educational Leadership. He joined the CCA family on staff in 2008 and currently serves as the Middle School Principal and Director of Finance. Joe and his wife Erika attend Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and have two boys: Caleb (5) and Benjamin (3).
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