Money Tips to Stay Safe from Coronavirus

By Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst

•Ask Your Bank for Help

“Many banks and credit unions have stated they are willing to offer assistance to people who face tempo­rary financial hardship due to the coronavirus,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “These might in­clude measures like being able to skip a payment, hav­ing temporarily lower rates, getting fees waived or hav­ing a credit line increase. If you find yourself struggling financially, call customer service to make your case. Make sure to clearly and politely articulate the rea­sons for your hardship.”

•Focus on Maximizing Savings

“Most people’s jobs ar­en’t immune to the corona­virus. So, it’s a good idea to set aside as much mon­ey as you can from each paycheck in case corona­virus impacts your ability to work or causes you to have additional medical expenses,” said Jill Gon­zalez, WalletHub analyst. “Even beyond the cur­rent situation, it’s always good to have an emergen­cy fund. Avoid panicking about stocks, too, and just remember that it’s only a matter of time until the vi­rus runs its course.”

•Take Advantage of Travel Insurance but Know the Limits

“If your travel provider cancels a trip because of the coronavirus, a ‘trip cancel­lation or interruption’ poli­cy might help you get your money back,” said Jill Gon­zalez, WalletHub analyst. “Some credit cardsoffer this benefit for free, though issuers have been cutting back in recent years. Keep in mind that if you cancel your own trip out of fear of the virus, your insurance policy probably won’t cov­er you unless you have cov­erage for canceling ‘for any reason’ or doctor’s orders to quarantine yourself.”

•Use Credit Cards, Not Cash

“Though there’s not much evidence to show that touching cash spreads coro­navirus, it’s theoretically possible, and the Federal Reserve has been quar­antining bank notes from Asia. China also burned some of its currency that had been circulated through the Wuhan area,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub ana­lyst. “Using a credit card’s contactless capability may help give consumers more peace of mind. Plus, credit cards can be used for online purchases, allowing con­sumers to avoid shopping at crowded stores. In addi­tion, consumers that decide to stock up on essential items and spend more than usual in the coming months can recoup some of that ex­pense, and get some extra time to pay, by using a re­wards credit card.”

Courtesy WalletHub

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