A fourth stimulus check? It’s not happening – but that other COVID money is out there
Congress is currently focused on pressuring President Joe Biden to spend massive money on roads, bridges and social programs – and on trying to prevent a government shutdown.
One thing missing from lawmakers’ heavy agendas is any plan to give Americans their fourth pandemic stimulus check. Congress moved on from this idea, although advocates and ordinary Americans did not.
The Senior Citizens League nonprofit this month launched a lobbying campaign to provide seniors with $ 1,400 stimulus checks to help them cope with “soaring inflation.” . Meanwhile, an online petition calling for $ 2,000 a month checks for all Americans is set to hit 2.9 million signatures.
For the moment, these proposals are only wishful thinking. But if you could use more COVID relief to help you pay your bills and keep your debt under control, there are plenty of other ways you can get it.
Billions of stimulus aid still available
Although Washington has diverted its attention from stimulus checks, billions of other government aid is still available in the first pandemic bailouts.
Child tax credit “family stimulus checks”
Until December, most households with children aged 17 and under receive cash payments through a temporary extension of the child tax credit.
Households can get up to $ 1,500 for children 6 to 17 and up to $ 1,800 for each child under 6.
The money is released automatically, based on the information provided by the tax returns. Families who don’t file taxes have until October 4 to go to the IRS website to register and start receiving money on October 15.
Help for tenants in difficulty
The government’s latest two stimulus packages have allocated $ 46.6 billion in aid to Americans who fell behind on their rent during the pandemic. The Treasury Department revealed on Friday that only about $ 7.7 billion has been distributed so far.
The money is distributed through hundreds of state and local housing programs, and the benefits can be substantial. In Illinois, eligible tenants and homeowners can apply for one-time grants of up to $ 25,000.
Money for homeowners in distress too
Homeowners who have struggled to keep up with their house payments and utility bills can still seek financial relief through a $ 10 billion mortgage assistance program that was part of the massive stimulus package that Biden signed in mid-March.
You can receive the money if you own your home and have a loan balance that in most parts of the United States is no more than $ 548,250.
Help for food workers
Some workers who have fed America throughout the pandemic are now eligible for stimulus grants from a new program announced this month by the US Department of Agriculture.
Some grocery store, farm and meat packer workers drew on their own funds to pay for child care, personal protective equipment and other expenses to continue their essential work. Eligible U.S. workers can receive grants of up to $ 600 which are distributed by local agencies and nonprofits.
Other ways to boost your finances
If you’re not eligible for any of these types of stimulus funds – or if you are, but the help just isn’t enough – here are some other strategies to give you a financial boost.
Tame your debt. The pandemic may have forced you to rack up high balances on your credit cards or take out a loan with an unsavory APR. A low interest debt consolidation loan can help you regain control by simplifying your payments and lowering the total cost of your debt.
Save when you shop. The pandemic has caused many people to do most of their shopping through smartphones and computers. To cut the price tags online a bit, consider downloading a free browser add-on that automatically searches for lower prices and coupons.
Refinance to reduce your housing payments. Average mortgage rates today are lower than pre-pandemic levels, and if you own a home, refinancing could mean significant savings. A recent Zillow survey found that nearly half of homeowners who refinanced between April 2020 and April 2021 are now saving $ 300 or more each month.
Put your pennies to work. The stock market may seem inaccessible to a newcomer, but a popular app helps you get started using little more than âspare currencyâ for your daily purchases. You can quickly integrate your pennies into a wallet.
This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.