8 Ways You Can Find Financial Help During the Coronavirus

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| 7 min read Financial Assistance

The coronavirus pandemic has touched nearly every part of our daily lives, but much of the collective fear and anxiety that millions of Americans are experiencing is related to finances. How will rent get paid? What about credit card bills or student loans?

For the individuals and families who are living one paycheck to the next, small financial obstacles could now mean the difference between having a hot meal or a place to call home. In these stressful times, financial security can play a critical role in staying safe and healthy. Below, we lay out key resources on where to find financial help during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Use these resources to find coronavirus financial assistance

1. Food help during COVID-19

If you’re struggling to buy food that will keep you healthy and nourished, these organizations and programs can provide relief.

  • Feeding America has 200 food banks across the US that help feed individuals and families in need. The organization provides this tool to find your local food bank. 
  • United Way Worldwide’s 2-1-1 program connects individuals with someone who can offer guidance on finding and paying for food, along with other essentials, during this difficult time.
  • A number of chain restaurants and fast-food restaurants across the country are offering two-for-one deals to families during the pandemic. Some are also offering meals to children. See this list of free meals and food deals from restaurants.
  • Through its network of more than 5,000 programs, Meals on Wheels operates in almost every community in the nation. The nonprofit offers meals at a sliding scale.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture provides a list of government programs that offer financial assistance for food.

2. Coronavirus financial support with mortgage payments

For the scores of Americans who found themselves suddenly unemployed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, mortgage and rent payments are now a huge burden. Luckily, you may be able to delay your mortgage payments without incurring fees.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency offers homeowners options to delay monthly mortgage payments if the loan is owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

If you think you’ll have trouble making your next mortgage payment, be sure to contact your loan servicer right away to discuss your options. Many companies are granting a good deal of leniency and loan modifications during the COVID-19 crisis. To find out what options credit unions in your state are offering, visit America’s Credit Unions.

3. Help with rent payments

While there isn’t a federal eviction ban in place, you can look into eviction protection by state to see what further options you have. The best thing to do first is to speak with your landlord or property manager about your situation. Even if a moratorium doesn’t exist where you live, they may also still be able to work with you to avoid eviction or provide some sort of emergency rental assistance.

4. COVID-19 financial support through crowdfunding

Crowdfunding can be a valuable alternative to federal government relief packages if you need help right away but don’t know how to get coronavirus aid quickly. Through an online fundraiser, you can find emergency financial assistance and receive funds in your bank account typically much faster than through government programs.

For those who are financially secure, crowdfunding gives them a seamless way to help those impacted by COVID-19 and make a real difference. It’s never easy asking for help, but know that your friends, family, and even strangers want to lend a hand during this crisis. Whether you need help with out-of-pocket-medical expenses related to COVID-19 or you just need help with bills, online fundraising can make all the difference—and quickly.

Relief for small business owners

If you’re a small business owner who needs financial help during COVID-19, you can receive a $500 grant through GoFundMe’s Small Business Relief Fund. Read more about how to qualify for the grant on the Small Business Relief Initiative FAQ page. If you’re looking to fundraise for a favorite bar, restaurant, or other business in your community, learn more about how to help small businesses affected by the coronavirus.

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5. COVID-19 financial assistance for individuals with unemployment 

A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in a single week amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Wall Street Journal. Thankfully, states recognized the need for coronavirus relief for unemployed workers and have relaxed the standard rules about securing unemployment benefits. The federal government has created new guidelines for obtaining unemployment insurance amid COVID-19. These requirements vary greatly from state to state, so check the unemployment benefits in your state to find out what options exist for you.

Additionally, if you need to take sick leave or family leave for reasons related to COVID-19, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to give employees paid leave for these reasons, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s fact sheet.

6. Help with credit card payments 

If you’re worried about your upcoming credit card bills, know that there many credit card companies are waiving monthly fees and overdraft charges, and some are offering payment deferrals. Reference this list of banks helping customers who are struggling to make payments during the COVID-19 crisis to find out what options are available to you. If you want help understanding all of your options, you can speak to credit counselors over the phone through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

7. Coronavirus financial assistance with utilities 

Water is essential to hand-washing and basic sanitation, and many states, such as Texas, Connecticut, California, and New York, have halted utility shut-offs. Federal lawmakers are working to ensure that all states ban utility shut-offs during the pandemic. If you’re unable to pay upcoming utility bills, reach out to your utility company and find out what accommodations they’re making for customers during this time.

Though it may take longer to receive help through nonprofit organizations and government programs, these options exist as well. Modest Needs is a nonprofit that helps with short-term needs, such as utility bill payments, through its “self-sufficiency grants.”

8. Help with student loan payments

Student loans can be a huge burden under normal circumstances, and they may also be even more difficult to pay down every month if you’re struggling because of the coronavirus. The government paused student loan repayment plans, but payments will resume in 2022. To learn more about those timelines, as well as financial help during the pandemic via emergency grants and repayment and refinancing options, visit studentaid.gov.

Find the COVID-19 financial help you need right away

In these uncertain times, know that you’re not alone in your struggles. With a GoFundMe, your community can show up to support you through the coronavirus crisis. You can create a fundraiser within minutes on our fundraising platform and begin using donations to pay for groceries, rent, or other bills within just a few days. If you’re still wondering how to get financial help during the coronavirus, start fundraising for coronavirus right now and find support quickly.

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Written by GoFundMe Team