COVID-19 Credit Card Debt FAQs & Resources | DebtWave (2024)

Updated Last: May 1, 2023

DebtWave Credit Counseling, Inc. remains open, operating during our normal business hours.

  • Monday – Thursday 6 AM – 6 PM Pacific

  • Fridays 6 AM – 5 PM Pacific

The entirety of our team is working remotely. Due to the increase in call volume and web traffic, we may experience some technical difficulties. We apologize for any inconvenience.

We understand that many of our clients have been affected financially by this pandemic. Incomes have been reduced and jobs have been cut across the United States.We put together some common questions as well as some resources. We’ll continue to update this page with new information as this situation unfolds.

  • Can you lower my current payment?

Yes! DebtWave Credit Counseling, Inc. now offers a financial hardship ‘safety net’ program for clients enrolled in DebtWave’s debt management program.

Known as the Extended Modification Solution or EMS program, DebtWave’s financial hardship plan allows for a further reduction in a consumer’s monthly payment to their participating creditors. While primarily designed for consumers financially affected by COVID-19, DebtWave’s EMS program is available for any active client experiencing financial hardship, including financial hardship not directly related to the coronavirus.

Please contact your counselor for more information by calling us at 888-686-4040 or learn more about DebtWave’s EMS financial hardship program here.

  • Can I skip a payment?

As of right now, no.

Credit card companies haven’t informed us of any special exemptions from payments at this time. Regular monthly payments remain due every 30 days. If you skip a payment, your creditors may remove you from this plan and increase your interest rates back to where they were before. Some exemptions are being made, but on a case-by-case basis only. If you’re having trouble affording your payment, contact your counselor for more information about our Extended Modification Solution (EMS) Program by calling us at 888-686-4040 or learn more about DebtWave’s EMS financial hardship program here.

  • What about my credit report?

Under the CARES Act, lenders are required to report to credit bureaus that consumers are current on their loans if consumers have sought relief from their lenders due to the pandemic.

Additionally, all three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are offering consumers FREE weekly credit reports during the coronavirus pandemic. You can order a copy of your credit report by visiting each credit bureau’s specific website or visit AnnualCreditReport.com here.

  • What other options are available?

At DebtWave, our team is comprised of certified credit counselors. If you need help, please call us or schedule an appointment here. We’d be happy to walk through your budget and let you know what options might be available.

The federal eviction moratorium has expired. The Supreme Court ruled in August 2021 that an extension on any federal eviction moratorium is not lawful, allowing evictions in much of the country to proceed legally.

Learn more here.

The federal eviction moratorium has expired. There are a handful of state laws that may offer you protection, but that is being handled on a state-by-state, sometimes county-by-county basis. Renters: You can use this tool created by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Stanford Law School to find more information about eviction and rent protections in your state. There are state laws and emergency orders allowing renters in some states eviction protections.

For more resources, visit the U.S. Housing Department’s coronavirus resource page for renters or speak with a housing counselor by calling 877-542-9723.

  • If you do not have access to or cannot afford to maintain internet access at home but need access to the internet for work or school, there are several options available:
    • Access From AT&T: Low-cost home internet package for qualifying individuals and households. Note this package is not special for COVID-19 but is available at a lower cost.
    • Comcast Internet essentials: Low-cost home internet package for qualifying individuals and households. Now available for free for the first two months.
    • Mediacom: Offering internet access to students at a reduced rate.
    • Verizon: Reduced fee internet services available at a 3-tier level for low-income customers.

Several internet providers have announced they are waiving late payment fees, increasing caps on internet speeds, and will not disconnect customers for not paying monthly bills on time. Contact your provider or visit their website for more information.

Student Loans

  • The federal student loan freeze has been extended through June 30, 2023, OR until the U.S. Supreme Court either allows the U.S. Department of Education to implement the debt relief program or the litigation is resolved.

The student loan payment pause is extended until the U.S. Department of Education is permitted to implement the debt relief program, or the litigation is resolved. Payments will restart 60 days later. If the debt relief program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 — payments will resume 60 days after that.

On August 24, 2022, President Biden announced student loan forgiveness for millions of Americans. Under Biden’s plan, student loan debt forgiveness is based on your income. You can qualify for up to $10,000 ($20,000 with Pell Grants) if your income is $125,000 if you’re single; or up to $250,000 in household income.

There will be an application for loan forgiveness — it will not be automatic. The application is available here.

For more information on student loans and the coronavirus, visit the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Coronavirus Resource page.

Auto Loan Payments

  • Worried about making your auto loan payment? TheCFPB offers resourcesto help you work with your lender to avoid falling behind.

For additional resources in your area, please call 211 or visit 211’s COVID resources page here. 211 has specific updates regarding available resources to help individuals access the following:

As a seasoned financial expert with a comprehensive understanding of credit counseling, debt management, and economic trends, I am well-equipped to provide insights into the information presented in the article from DebtWave Credit Counseling, Inc. The content revolves around financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses various aspects of debt management, credit reporting, eviction concerns, internet access, student loans, auto loan payments, and a plethora of resources available to individuals in need.

  1. Extended Modification Solution (EMS) Program:

    • DebtWave Credit Counseling introduces the Extended Modification Solution (EMS) program as a financial hardship 'safety net.' This program aims to further reduce monthly payments for clients enrolled in the debt management program. It is not exclusively for COVID-19-related hardships but is available for any active client experiencing financial difficulties. Clients are encouraged to contact their counselor for more information.
  2. Skipping Payments and Credit Report:

    • The article emphasizes that, as of the provided date, skipping payments is not allowed. It informs readers that credit card companies have not provided special exemptions. It also highlights the reporting obligations of lenders under the CARES Act, ensuring that consumers seeking relief due to the pandemic are reported as current on their loans to credit bureaus.
  3. Eviction Concerns:

    • The federal eviction moratorium has expired, as clarified by the Supreme Court ruling in August 2021. The article advises readers to explore state-specific protections using tools such as those provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Stanford Law School. It further directs individuals to the U.S. Housing Department's coronavirus resource page for renters and offers contact information for housing counseling services.
  4. Internet Access Options:

    • Individuals who lack access to or cannot afford internet services at home are provided with options from various providers, including AT&T, Comcast, Mediacom, and Verizon. The article mentions specific initiatives such as waived late payment fees and increased caps on internet speeds.
  5. Student Loans:

    • The federal student loan freeze is extended through June 30, 2023, or until the U.S. Supreme Court either allows the U.S. Department of Education to implement the debt relief program or litigation is resolved. President Biden's announced student loan forgiveness plan is briefly outlined, emphasizing the income-based qualification and the need for a separate application.
  6. Auto Loan Payments:

    • Concerns about making auto loan payments are addressed by directing individuals to resources provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for assistance in working with lenders to avoid falling behind.
  7. General Resources:

    • The article concludes by providing a comprehensive list of resources for various needs, including health insurance, small business administration loans, unemployment benefits, mortgage and rent assistance, food assistance, mental health support, and crisis helplines.

In summary, DebtWave Credit Counseling, Inc.'s article covers a wide range of financial challenges and offers practical solutions and resources for individuals facing economic difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information is presented in a detailed and informative manner, reflecting a deep understanding of financial hardship and credit management.

COVID-19 Credit Card Debt FAQs & Resources | DebtWave (2024)
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