Where to turn for financial help to pay rent, mortgage and other bills during the COVID-19 pandemic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Better days may be ahead, but right now bills are due. Since the coronavirus pandemic started leaders in some cities and states have asked landlords to hold off collecting rent. 

Some utility companies and banks reached out to customers directly to let them know they will waive late fees. Utility companies also said they won’t be disconnecting service during the pandemic.

If you haven’t done this already, it’s recommended that you reach out immediately to your mortgage lender, student loan service or utility provider to see what’s available. 

RELATED: The monthly cost of living is due: Here are your options amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The bottom line is that you need to take action to seek certain forms of relief and a phone call or email could help you in the long haul.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order on March 25 that included suspending evictions. It doesn’t mean you can skip out on paying bills and rent.

Here are some organizations in Kentucky that could help you financially

Consumers Louisville, Jefferson Co.

The One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible funding resources for rental assistance, childcare assistance, transportation aid, food access, utility assistance and other support as determined, via $1,000 payments to eligible households. 

Funds will also be made available to community-based organizations that are being hit hard by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you want to donate to the fund click here.

Utilities

LG&E, KU, Duke Energy and ODP will suspend disconnects through May 1 for those who are having difficulty making payments on time. They will work with customers on payment arrangements, and they will continue to serve customers through home visits when necessary. 

RELATED: Utility companies suspend disconnections, waive late fees for customers facing financial difficulty

Homeowners | Mortgage Options

Numerous mortgage lenders have said they are willing to work with distressed borrowers, including potentially suspending or reducing payments. 

Contact them immediately to find out about your options.

Federal and state governments have announced plans to help struggling homeowners during this time, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). They recommend

The agency’s blog says new federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:

  1. A foreclosure moratorium
  2. A right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency

If you don’t have a federally backed mortgage, you still may have relief options through your mortgage servicer or from your state.

Here’s more from their blog that could help you.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and the Federal Home Loan Banks are taking steps to help people who have been impacted by the coronavirus.   If your ability to pay your mortgage is impacted, and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period, during which: 

  • You won’t incur late fees.

  • You won’t have delinquencies reported to the credit bureaus.

  • Foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended 

Get more information on their website here.

GOVERNMENT HELP

Yes, the government is delivering one-time payments to adults but those are still weeks away.

RELATED: Stimulus check calculator: See how much you’ll likely be getting

Evelyn Zohlen, a certified financial planner and chair of the Financial Planning Association, urges people to use that money for needs not wants. If you are not in need, consider dropping that money into an emergency savings fund as anyone’s economic picture can change quickly.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and the Federal Home Loan Banks are taking steps to help people who have been impacted by the coronavirus.   If your ability to pay your mortgage is impacted, and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period, during which: 

  • You won’t incur late fees.

  • You won’t have delinquencies reported to the credit bureaus.

  • Foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended 

Apply for Unemployment

Thousands of people in Kentucky and Indiana are without jobs after businesses were forced to shut down to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

If you need to apply for unemployment benefits during this uncertain time, you can do it easily online.

RELATED: The best times to apply for Unemployment to limit your frustrations

RELATED: A record 6.6 million seek US jobless aid as layoffs mount

Small businesses

Organizations and U.S. Small Business Administration is providing disaster-assistance loans to small business owners who qualify and were affected by the pandemic.

Louisville mayor announces loan program to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 outbreak

Here’s how small business owners in Kentuckiana can apply for financial help during coronavirus pandemic

Other companies waiving fees through May

RELATED: Comcast, Verizon and others won’t cut internet over late bills through early May