I'm experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Are credit card companies doing anything to help?
Most major credit card issuers announced measures early in the coronavirus pandemic to help customers in financial distress, usually building on existing hardship programs. Depending on the company, these steps might include deferring monthly payments, offering lower monthly minimum payments, waiving interest and late fees, or increasing credit limits.
To see if you qualify for help or to find out more, call the customer service number on the back of your credit card or log in to your online account. Card providers are warning customers to expect longer wait times for phone support and are encouraging them to use online tools to manage accounts and apply for assistance.
Does that mean I don't have to pay my bill this month?
Not necessarily. Most card companies are handling requests for financial relief on a case-by-case basis. You'll need to contact your provider to explain how the coronavirus has affected your financial situation and to discuss relief options.
Remember that deferral of payments doesn't mean forgiveness. You'll still have to pay those bills, just later on, and you might accrue interest unless it is waived as part of your assistance plan.
How can I find out what my credit card company is offering?
The major card issuers have pages on their websites with information on their COVID-19 response and links to online tools for managing accounts and requesting assistance. The level of detail varies, with some companies specifying the kind of help available and others simply encouraging customers to contact them. Click on a provider to see what the company is doing or how you can best get help: