Six Tips To Use Your Economic Impact Payment To Boost Your Financial Health
Many Americans are eligible for Economic Impact Payments (EIPs)* as part of coronavirus tax relief efforts. Here are six tips to help you use your economic impact payment safely and in a way that benefits your financial health & well-being during this difficult time.
Prioritize: Focus on the bills that keep a roof over your head, the lights on and food on the table. Check with your local jurisdiction as many utilities and communications providers are working with consumers to waive fees, keep the power on and your internet connection working.
Talk: With your credit union and other lenders. Many are offering low or 0% small dollar loans, skip-a-pay, loan modifications and other sources of help so you can use your payment for what you need now. (The COVID-19 MSCU Emergency Relief Program can be found, here.)
Save some of it: If you set aside even $100-200, that can provide a cushion for bills that are coming in a couple of weeks. America Saves has solid resources and information to help with access to food and unemployment benefits.
Don’t hoard cash: Keep it in your credit union account. It’s safest there. The money you have at MSCU is insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (an independent agency administrated by the NCUA) and fully backed by the U.S. government.
Protect: There are lots of bad guys out there trying to use this crisis to get at your stimulus check and your money. Watch out for suspicious emails, texts or phone calls. Here’s a great article that can help you keep an eye out for these threats.
Pay your taxes: The deadline for filing and paying income taxes has been extended to July 15th. If you haven’t saved to pay your income taxes, you may want to consider using the economic impact payment to pay your taxes.
*On Friday, April 10, the Internal Revenue Service began issuing economic impact payments by direct deposit to qualified Americans with the first set of funds available as early as April 15. Additional electronic payments will be released throughout April. These payments are based on 2018 and 2019 tax filings. Individuals who did not file for electronic returns for 2018 or 2019 filings will not receive direct deposit payments. Instead, these qualified individuals will receive payment by check in the mail in the coming weeks. For additional information on EIPs, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know