No one has escaped the extraordinary challenges brought on by COVID-19. Social distancing continues to be a mainstay for us. We miss our interactions with you and hope that you’re remaining safe and healthy. We know many of you may be concerned about your finances and what your future may hold. Let’s take a look at what you can do now to prepare for a smoother recovery from this pandemic.
1. Spend less. Any change in income may require you to change your spending habits. Be cautious that you don’t buy more food than you need, or spend money on unnecessary items. You may even want to postpone any significant expenditures. Take a closer look at your subscriptions and memberships to determine whether you need them.
2. Build your savings. You may find that during this time you’re spending less than usual. Consider depositing some of this money into a savings account to build up your emergency savings fund. Or maybe you recently received a tax refund or a stimulus check from the government. While you may need some of that money to pay for bills and other essential things, you should consider depositing a portion of it into your savings account.
3. Review your credit report. You are the right to receive a free credit report every year by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Now’s a great time to review your credit to see where you stand and keep it in good shape. If you see any errors on your report, report them immediately to the credit bureau or your lender.
4. Evaluate your insurance policies. Getting a better deal on auto or health insurance isn’t difficult, but it may take a little effort. You can use online calculators to see if your existing policies are reasonable. If not, call your insurance company to negotiate a better deal. Just be sure you keep in mind all the factors critical to your family’s care.
5. Beware of fraud. Unfortunately, anytime there’s a crisis, fraud increases. The Federal Trade Commission recently cautioned consumers to avoid clicking on email or text links from unknown sources. If you receive an email from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts with information about the coronavirus, delete it. Ignore any offer for a COVID-19 vaccination (there is nothing available to treat or cure this disease). Be sure to do your homework if you desire to donate to a charity during this time. It’s best to stick with reputable charities that you’ve given to in the past – and never wire money for your charitable donation.
Take advantage of the resources offered to you.
Some may be feeling overwhelmed in how to recover from this pandemic due to the loss of their job or business. We understand your circumstances and encourage you to take advantage of these resources:
If you’re having difficulty making a loan payment, or have any other financial need, please contact us at (405) 755-1000.
While we don’t know when this pandemic will end, we do know that using these tips and getting the financial help you need now will set you up for a brighter financial future. We value our customers and hope you continue to stay safe and healthy.