April 3, 2020 —
The COVID-19 pandemic may increase your family’s financial hardships. Don’t wait until there’s a problem. You don’t have to bear this burden alone. There are many programs available to help you out.
For inspiration, first check out the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard’s new Facebook video about getting – and staying – financially healthy.
Second, check the “New Pay and Allowances to help you through COVID-19” article to see if you are eligible for any new pay or allowances.
Then, explore various options for financial management, such as working with your local Personal Financial Manager, Command Financial Specialist or a CG SUPRT Money Coach. They can help you create and review your budget, work with creditors to find alternative ways to pay debts, find and apply for grants, and find low-interest loans, if necessary.
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance is offering COVID-19 specific assistance including a new supplemental education grant (SEG-COVID19) to help offset the cost of home schooling. All CGMA assistance is provided as either a grant or a zero-interest loan. For more information on all of CGMA’s programs, please visit www.cgmahq.org.
Similarly, many other military-friendly organizations offer financial assistance loans. Just remember that these other forms of financial assistance can have higher interest rates, longer payback periods, or unique terms. Potential consequences of taking out a loan unnecessarily can include:
- Getting deeper into debt by taking out loans with variable interest rates and/or high annual percentage rates
- Hurting your credit score by taking on too much debt, affecting your ability to borrow in the future
- Not being able to make your loan payment, which can cause late fees and penalties and harm your credit score
- Paying upfront fees to borrow money can sometimes be counter-productive.
Command leadership: Engage your members to make sure they’re getting the support they need. Encourage them to conduct financial wellness check-ins and learn about their financial options.
Flyer: Managing your money during COVID-19
CG SUPRT Special Webinars - A great lineup of financial webinars coming your way:
- Wednesday, April 1st 12pm/3pm EST, “Financial Setup? Re-Group and Rebuild”
- Wednesday, April 8th12pm/3pm EST , “Raising Money-Savvy Kids”
- Wednesday, April 15th12pm/3pm EST, “Money Basics: Let’s Build a Plan”
- Wednesday, April 22nd12pm/3pm EST, “Getting & Keeping Good Credit”
- Wednesday, April 29th12pm/3pm EST, “Financial Best Practices in Uncertain Times”