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Federal agency highlights free resources to help you tackle financial stress during pandemic

Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 09:36:58-04

You may feel like it's not a good time to work on improving your finances because we're still in a pandemic. Maybe your stress over money hasn't gone away. But experts remind people, there are steps you can take today that can ease the burden brought on by COVID-19.

If the pandemic did some damage to your credit score, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB says the first step is to figure out exactly where you're at with your credit status.

"We really encourage consumers to take a frequent look at their credit reports. Right now through April of 2022, consumers can get free access on a weekly basis to their credit reports," said Desmond Brown, Assistant Director of Consumer Education at the CFPB.

Consumers can access their reports by going here.

Brown told TMJ4 News staying in communication with your lender is crucial.

"Often that simple call of contacting your lender can get you on a plan. You can set up an arrangement with your lender to start a smaller payment. But, it's really important to take that action step of engaging and not ignoring bills that start coming through," he said.

If you're worried about debt collectors, Brown says don't ignore them. The CFPB has sample letters on its website you can use to respond. The site also gives examples of unfair practices.

"If they feel that a debt collector is being abusive, there are ways that you can submit complaints on consumerfinance.gov website to make sure those bad actors and bad behaviors don't continue," Brown said.

For information about credit reports and scores.

For information on housing help.

Other financial resources during COVID-19.

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