Times are certainly strange at the moment and you might be finding yourself feeling really uncertain. All the simple things we take for granted are changing and there is a real feeling of fear in the air.
A lot of people have been making decisions out of fear, and some of these decisions can have long reaching affects on your financial position. I know a lot of people live pay to pay, spending everything you earn. While not ideal that is just the way it is, so don’t sit there kicking yourself because you don’t have your emergency fund in place yet.
This is a good time to review where you are at now financially and think about what you need to get yourself through the next month or two.
So lets start with your income. How secure are you in your job at the moment? The government is bringing in some immediate help for anyone who has lost their job or suffering financially.
If you’re not already getting a payment and need to claim get onto myGov and make a claim. The government has expanded eligibility for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance for job seekers.
You will get you access if you’re:
- a permanent employee who has been stood down or lost your job
- a sole trader, self-employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced
- caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus.
They have waived asset testing from 27 April for 6 months, (except for Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit).
Income testing will still apply.
If you can’t work because you’re isolated at home due to coronavirus and don’t have any leave entitlements you may get Crisis Payment.
For more information on what is available to you go to https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/news/more-financial-support-coronavirus-affected-job-seekers-and-students
If you are an employer you have a huge responsibility to those you employ. These are hard times and your staff may be feeling a great deal of fear and uncertainty. You have access to a number of resources as a business owner and the government is again offering a number of incentives to businesses. The government is enhancing the measure it previously announced. Small to medium businesses and not for-profits with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million that pay salary and wages will automatically receive a minimum payment of $10,000, or payment equalling 100% of the amount withheld in tax on employee salary and wages, up to maximum of $50,000.
An additional payment equal to the total of all the previous payments will be made in the July – October 2020 period, meaning eligible entities will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000.
The instant asset write off has increased to $150,000
If you employ a trainee or apprentice you will receive up to $7000 a quarter in wage assistance
Hop on to the ATO website because a lot of these things are changing daily at the moment. You can find all the ways to access what you are entitled to.
Next lets look at the debt you are holding. Can you manage your payments?
Your lender has provision for hardship already. Claiming hardship can affect your credit score, but by the looks of things most lenders are suspending this for anyone that has lost their job or is suffering as a result of this virus. Financial hardship relief comes in many ways so we will work with you to find the best way to get on top of things. You might be on no payments or interest only for a while but in the end those payments will need to be made.
The best place to find out about your options in relation to hardship is via your mortgage broker. We are always here to help so please call on us. Send us a message and we will book in a time to chat about your options straight away.
As I said at the beginning many people live pay to pay. Stay on top of things and act quickly, as the sooner you act the sooner you will gain the control back over your finances that you need.
Beware of short term quick fixes like Afterpay or small loans. These loans are not controlled in the same way that your home loans and credit cards are. Some lenders will charge 40% plus on the lending you are getting so what can seem a great way to get out of trouble can lead to greater trouble in the future.
Take stock of what you have in credit card and other unsecured debt. Now could be the time to work out a plan to get rid of it all.
I can help you with a financial health check so if you are sitting at home with the resolve to do better with your finances in the future hop on to our app https://clover.wealthdesk.com.au/my/home and start the journey.
Here are some links to lenders and their support offerings during this time. If your lender is not here give us a call or email and we will pass on their information.
Pepper Money – https://www.pepper.com.au/covid19
PLAN Lend – email us or contact their Customer Support Team on 1300 155 426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org