If you are worried about being able to pay your credit cards over the next couple of months due to being impacted by the coronavirus, there is some GOOD news for you.
Almost all of the major banks are providing relief to individuals that have been impacted by the coronavirus.
All you have to do is ask.
The banks are handling these requests differently so the policies will differ based on which banks you have credit cards with.
But generally, you can expect something along the lines of:
- No minimum payment due
- Late fees waived
Most banks do seem to be imposing interest on deferred payments but not all of them will. So it is possible that you can get a complete deferment on your credit card payments and not even have to pay interest on it.
The amount of time that your payment can be deferred will just depend on the bank — some banks are doing a month to month deferment while others are going about it in two or three month increments.
Some banks will allow you to continue to use your card while others will prohibit you from using cards from their bank while your account is “under protection.”
You can typically get a deferment on your payments by calling up the number on the back of your credit card and explaining to an agent that you have been impacted by coronavirus or sending in a message or chat to your bank.
Many banks are overwhelmed with phone calls right now so calling is not recommended.
Another way to do this is to log-in and see if the bank has any type of special button or portal to go through to activate coronavirus protection.
These are currently being rolled out at a different banks since this is pretty new but in some cases you can instantly activate coronavirus protection for all of your credit card accounts in one swoop.
In many cases the deferment will be instant but in others it could take a few days to process so you want to try to initiate this process at least a few days or a week before your payment is due to ensure that you will get the deferment.
I believe that if you have auto payment set up on your account, you will have to disable it; otherwise, your deferred payment will actually be paid from that account.
If your payment has been deferred, this should not be reflected on your credit report as far as I know, though you might want to verify this with your issuing bank.
It’s possible that deferred payments could last longer than the initial period given by the bank so be sure to follow up with them as your situation changes.
I don’t think everybody will be approved for a deferment. For example, if you were already very late on your payments, it’s possible that they will not approve you for a deferment.
I don’t know all of the banks participating in programs like this but I am pretty sure you can get deferments with the following banks like: Chase, American Express, Citibank, Capital One, Discover, etc.
In addition to credit cards, you can also get payments for things like insurance and mortgage is deferred so be sure to inquire with your banks if you are in need of those deferments.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.