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How to seek help with credit card, mortgage payments

As the coronavirus pandemic widens in the U.S., leading to layoffs and a sharp reduction in consumer spending, Americans are increasingly worried about the financial impact. Almost 3 in 10 consumers say they believe they’ll have trouble paying their credit card bills because of the crisis, according to WalletHub. 

But there are options other than missing a payment, which risks a ding to your credit report or could put your house at risk. Instead, consumers who are facing a cash crunch should pick up the phone and call their bank, according to consumer advocates and banking experts. 

Already, credit card companies are preparing for some customers to struggle with their bills. Earlier this month, Citi said it would offer credit line increases and collection forbearance programs for credit card customers impacted by the pandemic. And Apple recently emailed customers to say they could skip their March payment without interest charges if needed. 

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