Use Your Stimulus Payment Wisely

Published June 2020
Couple looking at bills

Congress approved a significant stimulus package on March 27 to assist Americans struggling with the COVID-19 emergency. Most people will receive an additional $1,200 from this plan. If you have children under the age of 18, you’ll also be provided $500 for each child.

If you qualify for a stimulus payment, that amount will be based on each person’s adjusted gross income (AGI). Your AGI should have appeared on your last tax return. If you have submitted your 2019 taxes, then that will be used to figure out the amount you’ll receive. If not, your 2018 tax return would be used.

If you are single, you’ll get the full stimulus amount if your AGI is under $75,000. If your AGI is less than $99,000 but higher than $75,000, then you’ll receive a partial payment.

If you are the head of the household, you’ll be awarded the full stimulus amount if your AGI is less than $112,500. However, if your income is between $112,500 and below $136,500, then you will get a partial stimulus check.

If you are married and filing jointly, you’ll get the full stimulus amount if you make less than $150,000. However, if you make between $150,000 but below $198,000, then you’ll receive a partial payment.

Using Your Money Wisely

Here are a few ideas on how to use your stimulus check wisely:

Buy Essentials

Demand is higher than supply for many products worldwide. Many of us are being encouraged to stock up on the essential items we know we’ll need. Americans have been asked to be prepared in case they need to quarantine themselves. Consider investing some of your stimulus money into any extra supplies you might be missing. That way, you’ll be prepared if you aren’t allowed to leave the house for an extended period.

Pay Down Debt

Already have your emergency savings and your essential supplies? Then think about using that stimulus check to pay down your high-interest debt. If you can get rid of one of your credit cards bills when times are financially difficult, that can significantly reduce your stress level.

According to data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the average U.S. household with revolving credit card debt has an estimated balance of almost $7000 as of September 2019. Due to the hardships facing many Americans right now, negotiators may be willing to accept less to resolve debt sooner. Of course, if you or your spouse have lost your job or have reduced hours, you may want to hold on to your check to tide you over until you are back to work. In that situation you may want to look at debt-relief options. Call a Certified Debt Specialist at ClearOne Advantage at 888-768-4767 to discuss what debt relief options are available for you.

Consider Saving It

COVID-19 reminded many of us about the importance of having an emergency fund. If you don’t currently have one, then start one using that stimulus check. You should save to cover at least three months in living expenses just in case you experience a job loss or a cut in pay.

Invest Your Money

If you don’t need that extra stimulus money for your savings, to pay down debt, or to purchase essentials, then you might want to consider investing it. That way, you can make your stimulus check grow into a more substantial amount. Do some research to see if you can find some bargain investments or consult with a financial advisor.

If you are struggling in this tough economic climate, ClearOne Advantage’s Certified Debt Specialists can help you find the best solution to resolve your credit card debt. If you are receiving a stimulus check and want to know what debt relief options are available, you can call us at 866-481-1597 to speak to an expert today.

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Topics: Covid Debt Relief