Updated Last: March 31, 2020
At this time, DebtWave Credit Counseling, Inc. remains open, operating during our normal business hours.
- Monday – Thursday 6 AM – 6 PM Pacific
- Fridays 6 AM – 5 PM Pacific
As of March 20, the entirety of our team is working remotely as part of the global effort to avoid large groups. Due to the increase in call volume and web traffic, we may experience some technical difficulties during this time and apologize for any inconvenience.
We understand that many of our clients have been affected financially by this pandemic. Incomes have been reduced and jobs have been cut across the United States.
We hope this hardship is only temporary and everyone will be back on their feet soon.
In the meantime, we have put together some common questions we are getting from many concerned clients right now, as well as some resources. We’ll continue to update this page with new information as this situation unfolds.
Can I skip a payment?
As of right now, no. Credit card companies haven’t informed us of any special exemptions from payments at this time.
Regular monthly payments remain due every 30 days.
If you skip a payment, your creditors may remove from this plan and increase your interest rates back to where they were before. Some exemptions are being made, but on a case-by-case basis only.
Can you lower my current payment?
It is possible that creditors can lower your monthly payment with us if you have been on the DMP program for at least 18 months.
Additionally, if you have paid off at least one creditor while on the plan and rolled that payment over to another creditor, we can reduce your monthly overall payment by only making minimum payments to creditors at this time. Please note that this will likely increase your payoff timeframe.
Can I make a partial payment to DebtWave?
We’d be happy to disburse a partial payment on your behalf. However, keep in mind that your creditors currently still require the monthly payment be made in full in order to stay current and remain on the debt management plan.
Is there any type of financial relief available?
- Find information about filing for unemployment benefits in your state at the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) CareerOneStop site. The site also offers instructions on how to apply for benefits.
- As of March 30, 2020, self-employed and gig workers can now file for unemployment. Previous law prevented states from offering unemployment benefits to these employees.
- Find out about the DOL’s other local and regional employment programs and services in your state.
- The United States Bartenders’ Guild’s national charity foundation has set up a Bartender Emergency Assistance Program with grants to provide emergency hardship assistance. The organization also has set up a Covid-19 Relief & Response page for links to additional programs for hospitality industry workers.
Utilities (cellular, internet, electricity, gas, water)
- Federal Communications Commission’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge.” For the next 60 days, these companies promise not to terminate service and will waive late fees caused by the coronavirus pandemic. They are also opening their Wi-Fi hotspots to any Americans who need them.
- Some state and city regulators across the U.S. have started directing utility companies (gas, water, and electric) to suspend shutoffs for customers struggling to pay their bills. Contact your utility company and negotiate relief before your bill is due if you’re experiencing hardship as a result of Covid-19.
- If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends contacting a housing counselor.
- Use this housing counseling agency search page to find a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved agency in your state.
- Or you can call the HOPE Hotline at (888) 995-HOPE (4673) or go to the Homeownership Preservation Foundation’s website.
Car loan payments
- Worried about making your auto loan payment? The CFPB offers resources to help you work with your lender to avoid falling behind.
Student loan relief
- Required payments on federally held student loans have been suspended for 60 days with the possibility of extending that time period. The government has told borrowers to contact their lenders for more information.
- Other relief options: You may be able to lower your monthly student loan payments by enrolling in a payment plan based on your income or a plan that extends the amount of time you will have to repay your loan.
For additional resources in your area, please call 211 or visit 211’s COVID resources page here. 211 has specific updates regarding available resources to help individuals access the following:
- Health Insurance and Medical Expenses
- Home Internet Access
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans for Small Businesses
- Unemployment Benefits
- Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Mortgage, Rent, and Utilities Payment Assistance
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
- Food Assistance
- Relief for “Gig Economy” Workers & Contractors
- Mental Health & Crisis
While many jobs are not available right now, other jobs are looking for workers ASAP (Grocery stores, Online Learning and delivery services such as Instacart).
For San Diego County Residents
Live Well San Diego has a variety of free resources on their website.
Small Business Loans
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed. Until further guidance is released, here’s some guidance from the Chamber of Commerce.
What other options are available?
At DebtWave, our team is comprised of certified credit counselors. If you need help, please call us. We’d be happy to walk through your budget and let you know what options might be available.
Tax Filing Deadline Extended to July
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on March 20 that the Trump administration will move the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15.
Stimulus Checks for Americans
As of March 26, 2020, the U.S. Senate has passed legislation that would include a one-time payment of $1,200 to Americans earning less than $75,000. Income levels will be calculated based on 2019 tax filings. If you have not yet filed your taxes, your stimulus check will be dependent on your 2018 tax filing.
- Americans who earn less than $99,000 but more than $75,000 will be given a smaller one-time payment.
- Individuals earning $99,000 or more will not be given a one-time payment.
- Married couples filing jointly who earn a combined $150,000 or less will be given a $2,400 one-time payment.
- Individuals and couples with children could qualify to receive additional financial assistance.
For an estimate as to how much money you and/or your family could receive from the government, check out this Stimulus Check Calculator from Kiplinger.