The importance of hygiene and maintaining good health is echoing in every nook and corner after the outbreak of the COVID 19 pathogen that transmits a heart-wrenching fear in every human being on the planet. The lives of several people, especially the elderly, are at stake. Not many are prepared for such a calamity, and no one wants to end their life in such a tragic fashion. 

As the whole world is running into a chaotic situation, an impact on your financial life is inevitable. The global economy and financial market are hit at an unprecedented level. The recovery might take a little longer than expected as the Coronavirus curve is not flattening in many countries around the world. Are you prepared to cope with such a long standstill with your finances? How can you stay credit healthy amidst the mounting financial responsibilities? You may need the power of a superman to pull it off. Don’t panic, this too will pass away when you have the right strategies with you. 

Say No to Panic Buying

In a bid to arrest the spread of the pathogen, the government has placed the entire country under lock down. However, it is ensured that all the essential goods, groceries and provisions will be made available. Overreacting to the situation, many people tend to stockpile and create a sense of panic among others. Panic buying may let you overspend on things which you may require. Moreover, the prices may go up due to the demand of the multiple products. Hence, you may end up paying double the price which can hurt your monthly budget. Considering the priorities, you may tend to skip the loan repayments and credit card bills. Henceforth, say no to panic buying and continue to be consistent with your repayments. 

Talk to your lender for a grace period

It is totally understandable that you may lose your regular income due to a complete lock down. Salesmen, workers in manufacturing units, individuals earning daily wages, etc., may have to bear the brunt of the catastrophe. In such circumstances, paying credit card bills and loan repayments can be difficult with low money flow. You may speak to your lender about your inconvenience to repay the loans and request for a grace period. Indian Banks’ Association has requested the RBI to ease the rules on repayments so as to give a breathing space for the borrowers in times of this tragedy. 

IRDA has already asked the insurers to extend the payment of insurance renewal premium by 30 days. 

Increase Your Savings for Emergencies

Normally, you must have at least 3 times of your monthly income as a contingency fund. But this time, you may have to think of increasing your savings to 5 times of your monthly income. This will help you pay your credit card bills or EMIs in case your employment seems dwindling. Staying credit healthy at this hour is important so that it will not affect your future credit opportunities in any way. Having a contingency will help you avert unwanted financial stress during COVID 19 outbreak. 

Choose Online Payment Methods

Going out of home is not safe anymore for anyone and we have been asked to stay at home. If you are a person who makes the loan repayments by cash or cheque, now is the time to rethink the method. Although banks continue to function, getting familiarized with online payments can save you from taking unnecessary risks. Following are the online payment methods you can choose while you stay at home. 

Mobile Banking: Every lender provides a mobile application that lets you do all the financial transactions remotely. After registering with your bank and loan account details, you may repay the loan amount for the respective month.

Auto-debit: You can contact your lender and request for an auto-debit facility for your loan repayment or credit card bill payment. To do this, you will need to provide your savings bank account details for the loan amount to be debited each month on the due date. Doing this can prevent you the hassle of walking up to the bank and also help you stay on track with your credit health. However, you need to ensure that enough funds are loaded in your bank account. 

Netbanking: To initiate netbanking, you will need to request for the netbanking account with the lender who will issue the credentials. After logging in to your account, you can choose the loan or credit card account and make the EMI payment. 

NEFT: With National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), you can transfer money from one account to another. By adding your lender’s bank account details, you can make the repayment towards your loan. To do this, you need to check with your lender for the payee details. 

UPI Payment: Some of the lenders let you make repayments using Unified Payment Interface (UPI) payment method using e-wallets such as GooglePay, Phonepe, Paytm, etc. Before doing this, you need to check if your lender facilitates this payment option. 

QR Code Scanning: Only a handful of lenders provide this option. You can scan the QR code provided by your lenders for making repayments using your e-wallets and pay the respective amount towards your loan or credit card bill. 

Instant Online Loans To Meet Your Expenses

Online banking not only lets you conduct financial transactions but also lets you borrow from banks and NBFCs from the comforts of your home. There are several online portals that help you avail instant loans based on your credit profile. Apart from saving the hassle of going to the bank, online loans are processed in real-time and the loan amount is disbursed within a few hours after the approval. It can help you manage your expenses if you happen to run short of cash due to emergencies. Also, for individuals who are new to credit, it can be an opportunity to begin their credit journey. Besides getting loans, you can also check your free credit score through online financial portals such as CreditMantri. 

End Note

Let’s believe that the tough times don't last longer. Let’s be prepared for the worst by taking the right precautions both physically and financially.