OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As global leaders take precautions to prevent the spread of a deadly virus, it has led to uncertainty among financial markets and investors.
As families work to protect their families, experts with WalletHub are offering a few tips to stay financially safe.
If you have lost your job due to the virus, WalletHub suggests asking your bank for help.
“Many banks and credit unions have stated they are willing to offer assistance to people who face temporary financial hardship due to the coronavirus,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “These might include measures like being able to skip a payment, having temporarily lower rates, getting fees waived or having a credit line increase. If you find yourself struggling financially, call customer service to make your case. Make sure to clearly and politely articulate the reasons for your hardship.”
If you are still employed, experts suggest that you might want to focus on your savings account.
“Most people’s jobs aren’t immune to the coronavirus. So, it’s a good idea to set aside as much money as you can from each paycheck in case coronavirus impacts your ability to work or causes you to have additional medical expenses,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Even beyond the current situation, it’s always good to have an emergency fund. Avoid panicking about stocks, too, and just remember that it’s only a matter of time until the virus runs its course.”
Some health officials have said that using a credit or debit card might prevent the spread of some germs when you are shopping.
“Though there’s not much evidence to show that touching cash spreads coronavirus, it’s theoretically possible, and the Federal Reserve has been quarantining banknotes from Asia. China also burned some of its currency that had been circulated through the Wuhan area,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Using a credit card’s contactless capability may help give consumers more peace of mind. Plus, credit cards can be used for online purchases, allowing consumers to avoid shopping at crowded stores. In addition, consumers that decide to stock up on essential items and spend more than usual in the coming months can recoup some of that expense, and get some extra time to pay, by using a rewards credit card.”