Note: this resource page is being updated regularly. It was last updated on Apr. 6, 2022.
By Erika Giovanetti and Rebecca Safier | Edited by Michael Galvis
The coronavirus pandemic has created financial challenges for many Americans. If you’re having trouble making payments on your personal or student loans, relief might be available. Listed below is a growing group of lenders that are offering help during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need assistance, contact your lender to learn about your options.
Let’s take a look at …
|Affirm||0.00% - 30.00%||6 to 12 months||Up to $17,500|
|Axos Bank||10.79% - 17.99%||36 to 72 months||$5,000 to $50,000|
|Best Egg||8.99% - 35.99%||36 to 60 months||$2,000 to $50,000|
|Discover||6.99% - 24.99%||36 to 84 months||Up to $40,000|
|HSBC||9.50% - 15.00%||6 to 60 months||$3,000 to $50,000|
|LendingClub||8.05% - 36.00%||36 to 60 months||$1,000 to $40,000|
|LightStream||5.99% - 23.99%||24 to 144 months||$5,000 to $100,000|
|OneMain Financial||18.00% - 35.99%||24 to 60 months||$1,500 to $20,000|
|Oportun||0.00% - 0.00%||6 to 46 months||$300 to $10,000|
|OppLoans||59.00% - 160.00%||9 to 18 months||$500 to $4,000|
|PNC Bank||11.69% - 17.14%||6 to 60 months||$1,000 to $35,000|
|SoFi||8.99% - 23.43%||24 to 84 months||$5,000 to $100,000|
|Upgrade||8.49% - 35.97%||24 to 84 months||$1,000 to $50,000|
|Upstart||6.70% - 35.99%||36 or 60 months||$1,000 to $50,000|
|Wells Fargo Bank||7.49% - 23.24%||12 to 84 months||$3,000 to $100,000|
For those that are worried about making their Affirm payments, this lender doesn’t charge late fees. If you’re experiencing difficulty repaying your loan, contact Affirm. You may qualify for loan modification.
Contact information: Contact Affirm via their website or app if you’re concerned about being able to make payments.
Customers who are unable to make their personal loan payments due to COVID-19 should email Axos Bank. Expect a response within five business days; be sure to send only one email to avoid further delays.
Contact information: Email [email protected] if you find yourself unable to make payments.
Best Egg recommends that personal loan customers log into their account portal to see what options are available as part of their coronavirus response.
Contact information: For more support, contact Best Egg at 855-282-6353.
To help borrowers who are facing financial hardship, Discover offers a payment assistance program. To find out if you’re eligible for this program, you’ll need to contact a Discover customer service representative.
Contact information: To learn more about Discover’s payment assistance program, call 800-983-1412.
If you have a personal loan with HSBC, your finances have been directly indirectly impacted by COVID-19 and you foresee yourself having difficulty making minimum payments, you may be eligible for support from HSBC.
Contact information: Call 800-524-9686 for assistance.
LendingClub offers a 15-day grace period for making payments without penalty available to all members. Further loan payment assistance may be available.
Contact information: Call 844-227-5011 or email [email protected] for assistance.
LightStream offers a personal loan payment relief program for those who find themselves unable to make payments. For those specifically impacted by COVID-19, LightStream offers short-term loan payment accommodation plans.
Contact information: Reach out to customer service via email at [email protected].
OneMain Financial customers who are unable to make payments should contact the branch nearest to them for further assistance.
Contact information: If you’re unsure you’ll be able to keep making payments, call your local OneMain Financial Branch. This can be found on your billing statement or your online account.
Oportun may offer reduced payments and payment deferrals, depending on your situation.
Contact information: Call 888-907-0129 to get in touch with a representative.
If you have a loan through OppLoans and are struggling to make on-time payments because of COVID-19, OppLoans is willing to work with you. OppLoans also offers financial wellness resources to customers.
Contact information: Call 800-990-9130 or email [email protected] for assistance.
PNC Bank offers hardship assistance programs to personal loan customers. To apply, fill out the Consumer Loan Hardship Request form on PNC’s website.
Contact information: For help with a personal loan, call 888-762-2265.
If you have a personal loan through SoFi Bank, you may be eligible for SoFi’s Unemployment Protection Program. In the case that a borrower loses their job, this program suspends monthly loan payments while interest accrues in three-month increments, with a cap at 12 months over the life of the loan.
Contact information: To apply for Unemployment Protection for personal loans, call 855-456-7634.
Upgrade may work with personal loan customers on their payment options should they face financial upheaval due to COVID-19. To find out more, login to your Upgrade account.
Contact information: Customers can call Upgrade at 844-319-3909 or email at [email protected].
If you’re unable to make loan payments, Upstart may work with you to come up with a new payment plan to help you avoid fees and penalties.
Contact information: Call Upstart at 855-451-6753 to learn more about how this lender can assist you.
Wells Fargo Bank personal loan customers who are struggling to make payments due to the coronavirus pandemic may qualify for fee waivers, payment deferrals and other financial hardship assistance.
To apply, use the online payment assistance form by signing into your online banking account.
Contact information: For inquiries about your personal loan if you’re experiencing financial hardship, call 866-828-5047.
For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating to their finances, whether they lost a form of income, saw a reduction in income or experienced unexpected expenses. For some, COVID-19 personal loans may help them make ends meet until they’re able to cover expenses on their own.
Some banks, credit unions and online lenders offer what’s often known as a COVID-19 hardship loan, a type of personal loan specifically available to those experiencing hard times due to the pandemic.
While COVID-19 hardship loans are similar to traditional personal loans in many ways, there are a handful of key differences between the two.
Like traditional loans, COVID-19 personal loans can be used toward many different purposes including:
However, every lender is different and may have various stipulations on how you can or can’t use a COVID-19 personal loan. Before signing on the dotted line, you’ll want to have a clear answer from your lender on what expenses you can put your loan toward.
In certain circumstances, your lender may allow you to forgo making payments for a few months. Note, however, that your loan would continue to accrue interest and you’d still have to make the payments at the end of the term, either in one lump-sum payment or as an installment loan.
Borrowers who can’t afford their entire loan payment but can still pay some amount could consider refinancing for a lower APR or longer terms. This can help bring your monthly payment down without the need to go into forbearance or default. Keep in mind that you might be on the hook for a loan origination fee with your new loan, or prepayment penalties if your old lender decides not to waive them.
If you’ve missed multiple payments on your personal loan, your lender may allow you to break up the missed payments across a number of months going forward.
If these options don’t offer the help you need, you may consider entering a debt management plan through a nonprofit credit counseling agency. This type of program can help you become current on past due accounts and reduce costs on your debt. Although it can come with fees, the credit counseling agency may be willing to offer reduced or no fees on your plan.
But generally, you should first see what options your lender has that are available to you. While there may not be specific programs listed on their website, many banks and lenders suggest contacting them if you need loan assistance due to the coronavirus.
The average American pays more than $1,200 toward debt each month, and many have long fallen behind on other bills due to reduced income, unemployment and other financial emergencies.
When you can’t pay all your bills, prioritize them. Generally, it’s most important that you pay secured debts and court-ordered debts before all else. If you fail to pay your auto loan or mortgage for multiple months, your assets could be seized by the bank. Plus, failing to pay court-ordered debt may result in wage garnishment or even jail time.
It’s also important to pay your utilities like water and energy bills every month to avoid them being cut off.
Unsecured loans and credit cards are lower-priority debts. Since they’re unsecured, you don’t risk losing an asset. However, you will risk your financial institution reporting you to the credit bureaus, which will lower your credit score. If you can, try to make the minimum payments on your credit cards to avoid late fees and a ding on your credit report.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Education paused payments and interest accrual on federally-held student loans in March 2020. Since then, this period of zero-interest forbearance has been extended several times.
If you owe federally-held student loans — such as direct subsidized loans, direct unsubsidized loans or PLUS loans — you won’t have to make payments until this forbearance ends after Aug. 31, 2022. After this date, your payments and interest accrual will resume.
While private student loans are not eligible for this federal forbearance, many private lenders have offered relief in response to the pandemic. If you’re struggling to pay back your private student loans, contact your lender to see if it can provide any assistance.
Being over your head with debt can feel isolating for some people. Debt counseling is a free or low-cost method for you to learn how to manage your finances better and pay off your debts. Unlike debt settlement companies, debt counseling organizations are usually nonprofits and will work with you to create a debt management plan.
In April 2020, unemployment rates reached 14.8%, the highest rate reported since these statistics began being studied in 1948. Thousands of Americans found themselves without jobs, and while unemployment rates have dropped significantly since, many still struggle to find employment. If you’ve found yourself without a job due to the fallout of the pandemic, be sure to apply for unemployment with whichever state you filed your last taxes with.
Every lender will have different requirements when you fill out an application for a COVID-19 personal loan. Here are a few items most lenders will be looking for.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the temporary closures of many restaurants, schools, travel destinations and other gathering places. Because of this, many people may struggle to make ends meet. In times of high unemployment, predatory lenders take advantage of the helpless situations people find themselves in.
Predatory lending refers to a lender that imposes unfair practices on borrowers, which are often accompanied by high interest rates and short repayment terms. In late March 2020, the Federal Reserve and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), among other financial entities, encouraged banks to issue small loans to Americans who are struggling. The announcement was met with criticism, since the Fed didn’t put any protective measures in place when urging banks to issue these small loans.
One type of predatory lending, payday lending, has already faced scrutiny amid the pandemic. Payday lending refers to a type of short-term loan that requires no credit check and can help tide people over with small amounts of money, typically $500 or less. However, these loans have sky-high interest rates — potentially as high as 400%, according to the CFPB.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, payday lenders were able to sidestep regulations banning them from advertising on Google and Facebook by partnering with out-of-state banks, a report from The Wall Street Journal found. To make sure you don’t fall victim to predatory lending, look out for these red flags:
Before you turn to a payday loan or another type of predatory lending, consider the alternatives, such as small personal loans, credit cards with favorable terms or even borrowing from friends and family. Plus, the LendingTree coronavirus hubpage has plenty of resources for people who can’t pay their debts.