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United Way of Lancaster County


Covid-19 personal finance tips

Money - file photo

Concerned about how to manage household finances during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Here are some basic recommendations, adapted from material developed by Tabor Community Services and The Factory Ministries.

(RELATED: Nonprofits predict surge in evections after moratorium ends)

For more information, see OneUnitedLancaster's Resources for individuals.

  1. Make a budget and prioritize expenses: Pay for essentials before nonessentials. In general, rent should be first and foremost. (You do not want to risk losing your home.) For many households, the same goes for car payments.
  2. Be proactive: If you are having trouble paying your bills on time, or think you might, contact your landlord or mortgage lender, your utility companies and other creditors right away. They may be able to offer payment plans, loan modifications or other relief. Be upfront about your situation and remain civil; it's best to communicate (or confirm arrangements) in writing to ensure you have a record.
  3. Consider deferring student loans: Keep paying them if you can, but if you can't, qualified federal loans can be deferred through Sept. 30. Contact your lender to make the arrangements.
  4. Save as much of your stimulus check and/or tax refund as you can: It's unknown when the crisis will end, so think twice before using the funds to pay down debt. You may end up needing the money for essential bills instead.
  5. Accept the help that's out there: That includes unemployment compensation and other government programs. In addition, don't hesitate to find and use resources like food banks and clothing banks.

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