Updated Last: April 12, 2021
DebtWave Credit Counseling, Inc. remains open, operating during our normal business hours.
Monday – Thursday 6 AM – 6 PM Pacific
Fridays 6 AM – 5 PM Pacific
The entirety of our team is working remotely as part of the global effort to social distance. Due to the increase in call volume and web traffic, we may experience some technical difficulties during this time, and apologize for any inconvenience.
COVID-19 Debt Management FAQ’s
We understand that many of our clients have been affected financially by this pandemic. Incomes have been reduced and jobs have been cut across the United States. We hope everyone will be back on their feet soon.
In the meantime, we have put together some common questions as well as some resources. We’ll continue to update this page with new information as this situation unfolds.
Can you lower my current payment?
Yes! DebtWave Credit Counseling, Inc. now offers a financial hardship ‘safety net’ program for clients enrolled in DebtWave’s debt management program. Known as the Extended Modification Solution or EMS program, DebtWave’s financial hardship plan allows for a further reduction in a consumer’s monthly payment to their participating creditors. While primarily designed for consumers financially affected by COVID-19, DebtWave’s EMS program is available for any active client experiencing financial hardship, including financial hardship not directly related to the coronavirus.
Can I skip a payment?
As of right now, no. Credit card companies haven’t informed us of any special exemptions from payments at this time. Regular monthly payments remain due every 30 days. If you skip a payment, your creditors may remove from this plan and increase your interest rates back to where they were before. Some exemptions are being made, but on a case-by-case basis only.
What about my credit report?
Under the CARES Act, lenders are required to report to credit bureaus that consumers are current on their loans if consumers have sought relief from their lenders due to the pandemic.
Additionally, all three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are offering consumers FREE weekly credit reports during the coronavirus pandemic. You can order a copy of your credit report by visiting each credit bureau’s specific website or visit AnnualCreditReport.com here.
What other options are available?
At DebtWave, our team is comprised of certified credit counselors. If you need help, please call us. We’d be happy to walk through your budget and let you know what options might be available.
- Find information about filing for unemployment benefits in your state at the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) CareerOneStop site. The site also offers instructions on how to apply for benefits.
- Find out about the DOL’s other local and regional employment programs and services in your state.
While many jobs are not available right now, other companies are looking for workers ASAP (Grocery stores, online learning, pharmacies, technology companies, hospitals, and delivery services such as Instacart). Here’s a crowdsourced list of companies that are hiring employees now as well as those companies that have put a freeze on hiring.
Other companies like Google, have announced certification programs for careers with its organization, replacing requirements such as a four-year degree from a university.
Rent & Mortgage Payment Assistance
At this time there is no nationwide resource available to assist with mortgage or rent payments.
You can use this tool created by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Stanford Law School to find more information about the eviction and rent protections in your state.
Learn more here.
In California, tenants who pay at least 25% of their rent will be protected from eviction until at least June 2021. However, those who fail to meet the minimum rent payment could be removed earlier.
For more resources, visit the U.S. Housing Department’s coronavirus resource page for renters or speak with a housing counselor by calling 877-542-9723.
- If you do not have access to or cannot afford to maintain internet access at home, but need access to the internet for work or school, there are several options available:
- Access From AT&T: Low-cost home internet package for qualifying individuals and households. Note this package is not special for COVID-19 but is available at a lower cost.
- Comcast Internet essentials: Low-cost home internet package for qualifying individuals and households. Now available for free for the first two months.
- Mediacom: Offering internet access to students at a reduced rate.
- Verizon: Reduced fee internet services available at a 3-tier level for low-income customers.
Several internet providers have announced they are waiving late payment fees, increasing caps on internet speeds, and will not disconnect customers for not paying monthly bills on time. Contact your provider or visit their website for more information.
- On Jan. 20, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order delaying repayment of federal student loans through Sept. 30, 2021.
For more information on student loans and the coronavirus, visit the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Coronavirus Resource page.
Auto Loan Payments
- Worried about making your auto loan payment? The CFPB offers resources to help you work with your lender to avoid falling behind.
Additional COVID-19 Resources
For additional resources in your area, please call 211 or visit 211’s COVID resources page here. 211 has specific updates regarding available resources to help individuals access the following:
- Health Insurance and Medical Expenses
- Home Internet Access
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans for Small Businesses
- Unemployment Benefits
- Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Mortgage, Rent, and Utilities Payment Assistance
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
- Food Assistance
- Relief for “Gig Economy” Workers & Contractors
- Mental Health & Crisis