How COVID-19 Might Have Affected your Credit & How to Improve It

July 20, 2020 09:30 AM

When business shutdowns led to a historical spike in unemployment, many Americans quickly felt the pain of managing their bills.  If you’ve experienced a financial hardship during this time, remember: You’re not alone.


Many businesses and financial institutions are doing their best to work with people to keep credit scores in check, and make payment plans more affordable. If you’re concerned about how this unique situation may affect you, here are some tips to help get you through with your credit score in tact:


1) Call your creditors. Any action you can take to work out a payment plan, or pause payments for now, can help ensure that your credit rating won’t take a big hit. It’s always better to discuss your situation than to simply not pay your bills.


2) Talk to your financial institution. Horizon Bank may be able to help. Give us a call and schedule an appointment to see if any financial solutions we offer could be helpful for consolidating debt, or making payments more manageable. In some situations, a Home Equity Line of Credit or other option may make sense — but these approaches should be used carefully. We can help assess your situation to see if it’s appropriate for you.


3) Do your best. In most cases, any payment is better than none. So, if you can manage to, continue to make small payments toward any debts you have.


4) Report hardships to credit agencies. Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax allow you to add notes to your credit report. You may wish to do this, to state that your inability to pay is related to the coronavirus situation and that you’re working to take care of your debts. This way, anyone who needs to check your report will better understand your circumstances.


This is a difficult time for everyone, and we all have our own unique challenges. Rest assured that Horizon Bank is here to help in any way we can, in an effort to minimize the stress caused by financial difficulty. Reach out, and we’ll do our best to assist you.