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Is Credit Card Relief Little Help? Check Out Debt Management | Lifestyle News

By MELISSA LAMBARENA of NerdWallet

As cardholders experience financial difficulties due to COVID-19, some credit card issuers are promoting their hardship programs.

Once a well-kept secret, these programs are now more prominently advertised, offering things like deferred payments and lower interest rates. But not all cardholders will qualify or receive favorable terms.

If you’ve been denied COVID-19 relief, if it’s insufficient, or if your relief terms are expiring, consider turning to a nonprofit credit counseling agency. Credit counselors may be able to help you with get-out-of-debt options — among them, possibly, a debt management plan, which rolls several balances into a single payment at a lower interest rate.

“It essentially works as a consolidation loan without creating a new loan,” says Thomas Nitzsche, a spokesperson for Money Management International, a nonprofit credit counseling agency.

Here’s what to know about this kind of assistance.

HARDSHIP PROGRAMS VS. DEBT MANAGEMENT PLANS

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Drones help insurance companies check damage in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Insurance adjusters who descended on Cedar Rapids after the Aug. 10 derecho storm are using drones to check roofs and asking homeowners with less severe damage to take their own photos.

Some of this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced the number of experienced adjusters willing to travel. But the changes also help speed up claims and get repairs done sooner, company representatives said.


“Drones or aerial imaging helps them estimate the claims,” said Scott Hauptman, vice president for claims for Grange Insurance, of Columbus, Ohio, which is working with Integrity Insurance, of Appleton, Wis., to handle at least 500 storm-related claims in Cedar Rapids. “It’s as efficient as possible and helps them (adjusters) safeguard their health.”



Cedar Rapids officials told The Gazette on Wednesday that 140 buildings are too damaged to be occupied. Several hundred more have non-structural or cosmetic damage.

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