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Coronavirus Giving You Financial Anxiety? How to Avoid Debt During the Pandemic

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Lazetta shares some tips with CNBC's Sharon Epperson about navigating finances during the pandemic.

What should I do now? It’s a fast-growing and widespread concern when it comes to managing money in the middle of a global pandemic. You have many questions, whether you’re struggling with credit card debt, considering tapping your 401(k) or facing uncertainty about how to cover costs for your small business. 

I’ve been talking to some experts about some of your financial worries. Though it’s always best to speak to your own financial advisor about your specific situation — and there are many certified financial planners now offering free help — here are some suggestions you can consider doing right now. 

Will credit card companies entertain lowering the current annual percentage rate on present balances?  

Here’s a ray of light for borrowers struggling to pay off credit card debt. Most credit card companies will consider lowering the interest charged on your current balance. Be upfront. Contact the creditor. Let them know your current financial situation and that you need some leeway in paying off your debt. 

A March 2020 survey by found that 1 in 7 cardholders cited the COVID-10 outbreak as the reason they didn’t feel confident about paying their credit card bills in full this month.

Many credit card companies are offering varying degrees of assistance. For instance, American Express said in some cases that if a borrower has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the card issuer will refund interest charges, waive or reimburse late fees and reinstate rewards points, if there are any, for the borrower’s current statement. And if the borrower is unable to pay even the minimum amount due, the account will not be marked as past due.

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