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