Rent is due: Here are financial resources to help you navigate all of the bills that are now due

HOUSTON – Wednesday marks the first of the month, but with the unprecedented number of layoffs and furloughs, many people are wondering how they are going to make all their payments.

Yes, times are incredibly tough, but you can make it through. Here are a few stories we have put together that answer some of your biggest financial questions.

1. Which bills to pay first when you can’t pay them all

Realistically, paying all your bills on the first of the month might not be doable because of the unforeseen circumstances brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

KPRC 2consumer expert Amy Davis spoke with financial educator Tiffany Aliche to help guide you through which bills to pay and which ones to delay.

“If your back is against the wall, what absolutely do you have to have?” Aliche asked. “You have to have food. You have to have shelter. You have to have water, which means utilities. The other one might be medicine. If you have children, you need childcare so you can go to work.”

Click here to read Aliche’s full advice.

Everything you want to know about those stimulus checks. Ask me a question. I'll answer it here. And here's a little light reading: KPRC2 Amy Davis #stimuluschecks #IRS #coronavirus

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Friday, March 27, 2020

2. I don’t have enough money to pay rent. Can my landlord evict me or tack on late fees?

Shelter is an essential bill, but maybe you won’t even be able to make rent this month and you are afraid your landlord will evict you.

Sugar Land real estate attorney Himesh Ghandi talked with Davis about what your rights are in case you can’t make rent.

Click here to read Ghandi’s answer to some pressing questions.

3. Worried about making your mortgage or rent payment during the coronavirus outbreak? Here are all the ways you can get help.

Even though some landlords and lenders are willing to work with their clients and residents, the long term still looks questionable.

Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, there are ways for you to get help.

Government-backed mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have said that they will suspend all foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers in single-family homes owned by their companies.

Also, according to the Texas Apartment Association (TAA), the state supreme court has halted most evictions, including for non-payment of rent, until April 19.

Click here to read more about how you can get help if you are struggling with mortgage or rent payments.

4. What to know about government assistance that could help you

On March 25, the U.S. Senate approved a historic $2 trillion stimulus deal that will aid individuals amid the coronavirus crisis which has caused economic setbacks.

Under the deal, qualifying single Americans would receive a check for $1,200, married couples will receive $2,400, and parents receive $500 for each child under 17 years old.

Additionally, those unemployed will an extra $600 a week along with their state benefits for four months as part of the $2 trillion stimulus deal.

Click here to read more about the stimulus package.

5. How to apply for unemployment benefits

Claims for unemployment have flooded the Texas Workforce Commission’s website and phone lines. Commission spokesperson Cisco Gamez said they are trying to handle claims and its website slowdowns as quickly as possible even while some of the agency’s own employees are also working from home.

Texans can apply for benefits any time online or call the toll-free number 800-939-6631 from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The office is also open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here to read more on how to apply.

About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.