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How to prepare for financial changes with COVID-19 grace periods ending

Some agencies created grace periods because of COVID-19. Now, those deadlines are around the corner. Here's how you can prepare.

MACON, Ga. — Some agencies providing financial relief created grace periods because of COVID-19. Now, those deadlines are fast approaching, which may put a strain on your budget.

If you're behind on rent and live in federally-subsidized homes, you can be evicted beginning July 25.  On August 31, the foreclosure moratorium is scheduled to end for mortgage payments. Then, on September 30, the grace period ends for student loan payments. 

On top of all of this, that extra $600 per week you can get with unemployment benefits ends on July 31.

Sherri Goss, a financial advisor with Rosenberg Financial Group, says don't depend on Congress to pass another stimulus bill. She says there's a large chance they may not send out a second round. Even if something is passed, Goss says it would take a long time for the money to actually get to people.

She's encouraging people to start saving, especially since we don't know if the economy will take another hit or if we see a resurgence of COVID-19. Goss says she's seen some slip away from saving during the pandemic and spending their stimulus check carelessly.

"We have to stop living the way we want to live and live the way that supports us for the long run. We've got to open saving accounts, save money every month, and we've got to pay off debt," Goss said. 

She says people can start by opening up a savings account if they haven't already.

"Start putting a little in every month, or every pay period, just even $20 helps. If you run into a month where you can't buy food, that money comes in very handy," Goss said. 

In terms of mortgages, Goss says to contact your lender and ask them for forbearance. 

"Just because the government stops mandating something doesn't mean a company can't have some leniency for a person, so it's very much worth a phone call," Goss said. 

As for paying off student loans and rent, Goss says find any job you can to help pay it off.

"So just think of ways you go on a daily basis, that can be a place for you to get a job to make ends meet," Goss said. 

She says if you're about to be evicted, a local resource is United Way. It has a COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund you can apply for. 

Another piece of advice Goss gave is regarding career paths. She says if you were not an essential worker or out of work earlier this year because of COVID-19, you likely won't be an essential worker if there's a resurgence. She says find a job that will give you a steady income and where you can work from home if needed. 

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