• Your COVID-19 deferral period for credit card, loan, mortgage, or insurance payments may be coming to an end soon.
  • If you still can't pay, call the company's customer support phone number and ask to speak with a live person to discuss your options.
  • Prepare for long wait times, and have any documentation about your original payments or deferral agreement on hand.
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If you've lost income during the coronavirus pandemic, you may have paused bill payments to soften the blow and save money.

Plenty of companies have allowed customers to defer payments on everything from mortgages to credit cards to insurance for the past few months. Maybe you've been able to put payments on hold for 60, 90, or 120 days.

Deferral periods could be coming to an end soon and for many Americans, their payment will kick back in right around the time the weekly $600 federal unemployment program stops , making for a scary financial situation.

So, what do you do if you have to start making payments again, but you still can't pay?

Call your lenders, banks, and insurance companies to talk about your options

Your bank's coronavirus relief website may say relief is only available for a certain amount of time. But because the coronavirus is an unprecedented situation, numerous businesses are changing their guidelines over time. Others are working with customers on a case-by-case basis.

Wondering what a business' stance is on deferral periods? Take a look at our list of banks offering assistance or at any of our lists of companies helping with specific types of payments:

If your deferral period is coming to an end and you still can't pay, don't assume you're stuck. Contact a live person at your lender, bank, or insurance company. You can find the customer service numbers of major banks and lenders here .

Prepare yourself for long wait times

Before you call, do a quick search online. You may find updated information, a specific form for requesting an extension, or a phone number specifically for deferrals.

You may have waited on hold for a painfully long time the first time you called about deferring payments. If you do call a company, be prepared for this to happen again.

Have your information ready when you call

When you paused payments a few months ago, did you receive a ticket number or write down the name of your customer service agent? Pull up any information you have about your deferred payments.

You should also have your original payment documentation handy. Be prepared with information such as your policy number or credit card number.

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