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Manage your bills in the time of COVID-19 (Part 1)

POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2020    

This is the first article in a two-part series on ways to deal with things you need to pay for during the current crisis.

 

It is part of a larger collection of stories and practical finance tips published by Metrobank to help people learn from the experiences of others, and to pick up lessons on personal finance and sound money habits beyond the pandemic.

 

You can read Part 2 by clicking here.

 

 

As you prepare for the “new normal” life, you have to be ready to deal with upcoming payment dues for your loans, bills and utilities. These tips will help you prioritize your payment and manage your money.

 

  • Prioritize bills that cover essential needs
  • Rethink subscription plans
  • Cut down unnecessary online shopping
  • Check grace periods of your loan payments
  • Don’t be afraid to ask billers questions or payment options

 

The life that we know and are very much used to has taken a major shift after the government imposed an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), where restaurants and non-essential services were shut down and people were required to stay in their homes. Summer vacation plans, festivities, and social gatherings were also cancelled.

 

However, payment dues for loans and utilities kept coming. The question now is, how do we identify which bill to prioritize after the lockdown.

 

The good news is that under the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” all lending institutions in the Philippines were required to give 30-day grace periods for all loans with payment dues that fall within the ECQ period.

 

This new law, which was passed in March 2020, covers all banks, quasi-banks, non-stock savings and loan associations, and credit card issuers, among other financial institutions.

 

With the extension of the ECQ, many banks have extended “grace periods” for loan payments, even offering to extend the maturity of loans to clients. Water and electricity suppliers did the same, with some offering staggered payment options.

 

For some, such delay in payments is a huge relief. However, failing to properly take note of payment due dates and amount may result in “bill shock.”

 

 

Read Part 2 here.

 

This article was originally published on the Metrobank website

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