This is the second 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 1 by clicking here.
To avoid finding yourself in such a precarious situation, here’s what you should do:
Prioritize basic needs
Water, electricity, food, and housing are some of the things that you cannot live without. Settle these essential bills first, and if you can, pay consistently.
Banks now offer automated bill payments using your credit card, which can be hassle-free because it offers timely payment for utilities, including electricity, cable, Internet, water, telephone, and mobile phone bills. But before you start paying through your credit card, check your billers grace period as they may allow you to skip bill payments during the lockdown.
Meanwhile, Internet banking can also provide you ease of paying your bills from the comforts of your home.
Read more about the Metrobank Card Bills2Pay
Rethink your subscriptions
Some payments can be paused for now, including the streaming apps you rarely use. Gyms and recreational hubs will also remain closed even after the ECQ. Find a way to pause these payments.
Say ‘no’ to temptation
While staying at home makes one prone to doing more online shopping, resist the temptation to spend and set aside extra cash for emergencies or settlement of pre-existing bills.
Check out your biller’s grace period
Upon receipt of any billing, check your service provider’s website or social media accounts for payment-related announcements and if they are offering a grace period. It’s best to know.
For Metrobank, please see link for loan and credit card grace period: https://metrobank.com.ph/grace-period
Reach out to your biller
Contact your biller–home lessor, branch of account or insurance agent for possible payment options. Customers with good standing are often granted leeway for a short period. Perhaps you can negotiate for an extension of your payment. Or, if you can negotiate to spread payments of the loan over an agreed period of time, that’s another option you can take.
Alternatively, if you have a credit card, you can consider what is known as a “balance conversion.” You can do balance conversion when you receive bills after the grace period or a payment holiday. It works by converting your balance into a lighter monthly payment period from three up to 60 months. You can find out from your credit card issuer to know if this option is available to you.
For Metrobank credit card Balance Conversion facility, you may visit: https://metrobankcard.com/cardsservices/balance-conversion
You can buy extra time in settling your bills. But you cannot escape them. Missing out on due dates can affect your relationship with the biller and even ruin your credit score.
Read Part 1 here.
This article was originally published on the Metrobank website