This item is reprinted with permission from Nerdwallet.
While 2021 is the year the COVID-19 vaccine could offer hope to many Americans, the lasting effects of the pandemic will undoubtedly leave some credit card holders in financial difficulty and in search of the help from their card issuers.
Banks, credit unions and other issuers continue to offer credit card hardship programs and other types of assistance, but these programs typically provide relief on a case-by-case basis and only on request, which means you will need to contact your issuer for assistance and some steps to follow.
Most major emitters have dedicated web pages that explain their options in the event of financial hardship related to COVID-19. You may need to sign in to your account to see the help available. You can call the phone number on the back of your card or use online correspondence via chat or secure message.
Here are examples of reliefs that some issuers continue to offer in 2021:
- Allow deferred, delayed or skipped payments.
- Waiver of Penalty Fees or Interest Rates.
- Extension of the period for certain services.
Even so, don’t expect a free ride in 2021. There is potential. disadvantages participate in an issuer’s relief program. They may include:
- Reduced credit limits.
- Unable to obtain a card from this issuer in the near future.
- Damage to your credit scores.
Here is a sample of the support offered by major credit card issuers in 2021. For a more complete list, including changes to certain credit card terms, see NerdWallet’s Guide to Credit Card Issuers’ COVID-19 Response. And if you are unable to get help, the next step may be debt management.
American Express AXP,
allows you to register for online support. He says he might be able to temporarily reduce monthly payments and interest rates. Eligibility factors include delinquency status, pre-program enrollment, and your account balance.
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Note that the official American Express program requires immediate payment to register. The AmEx back-up program page explains how joining the program could affect your credit scores and your ability to get a new account in the future.
For more information, call 866-703-4169.
Bank of America
Bank of America BAC,
Provided assistance to credit card customers, including deferred payments and canceled or refunded late fees. Log into your account to learn more about financial aid. Or call 855-891-3401.
A capital letter
Capital One COF,
encourages cardholders to contact its customer service representatives at 800-227-4825.
offers support options such as the ability to defer a payment. It recommends registering online for its COVID-19 payment assistance program. Or call 888-356-0023.
said it ended its official COVID-19 assistance program on December 31 after a steady decline in the number of people signing up for the program. But it continues to offer assistance on a case-by-case basis. Citi offered options such as waivers on late fees and deferral of minimum payments for two months. You can log into your account and send a secure message to Citi Customer Service, or call the Payment Support team at 866-905-2784.
is still providing financial assistance to cardholders who have been affected by the pandemic, including options such as skipping payments, which temporarily postpones payments without negatively affecting credit. It also offers assistance related to payment time, fees and late payments.
Cardholders can make contact through the mobile app or website or by calling 800-347-2683.
Also see: I did not receive a stimulus check for $ 1,200 during the first wave of COVID-19. Will I receive a check for $ 600 this time?
Cardholders were able to defer their monthly payments, benefit from fee and interest waivers, and receive “other extended support” on a case-by-case basis.
Wells Fargo WFC,
has additional information at its credit card help center or by calling 844-853-6686.
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Gregory Karp writes for NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @spendingsmart.