CFP® professionals are committed to helping their clients navigate the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis. To help you protect and manage your finances during this stressful time, CFP Board has gathered the articles and resources below from a range of reputable sources. New resources will be added regularly, so check back often.

If you want help navigating your finances through these trying times, you can use our “Find a CFP® Professional” tool to contact a CFP® professional who can help you secure your financial future.


 

Resources

Get Details on COVID-19 Tax Relief

IRS.gov offers a dedicated section on coronavirus-related tax relief, including information on stimulus payments. You can find answers to frequently asked questions about the payments, as well as the “Get My Payment” tool to check a payment’s status.

 

FAQ on Student Loan Relief

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers answers to frequently asked questions about the measures in effect to help student loan borrowers. Find out more about which loans qualify for the temporary 0% interest rate and suspension of payments, as well as more details about how these measures affect loan repayments.

 

Beware Coronavirus Pandemic Scams

Consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission related to COVID-19 have spiked in recent weeks. If you think a scammer is targeting you, don’t give out personal details or your financial information. You can learn more about scams to avoid and report any type of fraud at the FTC’s website devoted to COVID-19 information.

 

Filing for Unemployment Benefits

If you or a loved one are suffering from a job loss, the Department of Labor offers information on filing for unemployment insurance. Learn more about who is eligible and how to apply, as well as find links to state unemployment insurance programs.

 

Relief for Small Business Owners

Small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. The Small Business Administration offers multiple funding programs to provide relief, including several new temporary programs established by the CARES Act.

 


Articles

What You Need to Know About Layaway Plans

In times when money is tight, layaway plans may seem like an attractive option to help spread out the costs for holiday shopping. But before you sign up for a layaway plan, make sure you understand the pros and cons. U.S. News spells out the details you need to know.

 

Savings Plans to Help Control Your Holiday Gift Spending

Shopping for holiday gifts can easily spiral into a pile of debt. One way to help keep your spending in check is to open a dedicated savings account for seasonal shopping. Some banks and credit unions offer “holiday clubs” that serve this purpose. AARP lays out how these accounts work and where to find one.

 

Filing a Tax Return When You Are Unemployed

During the pandemic, many Americans have suffered job loss or furloughs. Whether you worked part of the year, received unemployment benefits or picked up freelance work, your tax situation for 2020 may be more complicated than usual. Money.com offers tax planning tips as the 2020 tax year comes to a close.

 

What to Do With Unused Travel Money

Having to cancel a vacation is a bummer. But as CFP® Ambassadors Brittney Castro, CFP®, Marguerita Cheng, CFP® and Felicia Gopaul, CFP® tell Real Simple, there are some smart and some fun ways you can maximize the travel money you didn’t end up spending.

 

What Happens If You Default on a Loan

The coronavirus pandemic has caused financial hardship for many Americans. If you are struggling to keep up with loan payments, U.S. News spells out what you need to know about loan default and tips for how you can avoid it.

 

Maintaining Life and Disability Coverage If You Lose Your Job

Many workers participate in group plans for life and disability insurance through their employer to cover their insurance needs. But what happens to that coverage if you are furloughed or lose your job? Money.com offers tips for staying covered while facing employment uncertainty or job loss.

 

Getting a Refund From Uncle Sam? You’ll Get Interest, Too

If you are receiving a tax refund this filing season, an interest payment should be coming your way, too. Because the change to the federal tax-filing deadline is considered a disaster-related postponement, Kiplinger.com explains the law requires the IRS to pay interest calculated from the original April 15th deadline to taxpayers who filed their return by the extended deadline.

 

Be Tax-Smart If You Loan Money to a Family Member

Helping out a relative who’s having financial problems in the pandemic may seem like a no-brainer. But pay careful attention to the IRS rules for making loans and gifts so that your good intentions don’t land you in trouble with Uncle Sam. Marketwatch.com spells out the tax rules.

 

Learn the ABCs of Tuition Insurance Before Signing Up

Hefty college costs mixed with the uncertainty of the fall school schedule may make tuition insurance look attractive, but do your homework before enrolling. Money.com explains how tuition insurance works, what it covers and what it costs.

 

Should You Rebalance Your Portfolio?

With the markets going on a wild ride in 2020, Morningstar’s Director of Personal Finance Christine Benz explains the why and how of rebalancing a portfolio—and whether investors should consider rebalancing their portfolios now.

 

Rules to Know If You Tap Your IRA During the Pandemic

If you take a coronavirus-related distribution from a traditional or Roth IRA, you get more time to return the money back to the retirement account, says IRA expert Ed Slott. On AARP.org, he explains the special economic hardship rules for these distributions.

 

Finding Affordable Health Care Coverage

If you have lost your employer health insurance, you have several options to choose from for health insurance. Kiplinger’s offers a guide to help assess your choices.

 

Get a Better Deal on Car Insurance

Even though many auto insurers gave policyholders a rebate on premiums because of the pandemic, you may still be overpaying for car insurance. Money.com offers guidance on how to get the lowest rates.

 

6 Ways to Get a Stimulus Payment in 2021

Many people have received their stimulus payments from Uncle Sam this year. But for those who missed out on getting stimulus money now, AARP explains six ways you may be able to claim stimulus money next year when filing your 2020 federal tax return.

 

Tips to Appeal College Financial-Aid Decisions

The coronavirus crisis will make it easier for parents to make a case for more money, but competition for aid will be greater. The Wall Street Journal lays out steps that can help you through the appeals process.

 

Maximize an HSA During the Pandemic

CNBC looks at various ways that you can utilize a tax-advantaged health savings account during the coronavirus crisis. You can now use the account to pay for more types of expenses, such as over-the-counter medicine, while the unemployed can use HSA money to pay for health insurance premiums, including COBRA. And if you’ve been delaying reimbursement for eligible expenses from your HSA, now may be the time to do so if you need cash.

 

What to Do If You Already Took a 2020 RMD

The CARES Act waived required minimum distributions from retirement accounts for 2020. But Money.com says all is not lost if you already took your RMD before the new law was enacted. Here’s what you need to know if you want to put the money back into your retirement account.

 

CARES Act Expands Tax Deductions for Charitable Giving

The COVID-19 crisis has created a need for help of all kinds. The CARES Act encourages charitable giving by providing additional tax relief for donors this tax year. Kiplinger’s explains how the new law offers incentives to both taxpayers who itemize deductions and those who take the standard deduction.

 

Get Your Estate Planning Documents in Order

The COVID-19 crisis is a sad reminder that it’s important to have your wishes spelled out to protect your loved ones and your assets in the event you become incapacitated or pass away. U.S. News’ Susannah Snider, CFP® lays out the steps to building an estate plan.

 

Claiming Social Security in a Pandemic

Older workers who suddenly become unemployed may consider whether they should claim Social Security benefits earlier than they planned. The New York Times looks at the pros and cons of different strategies for claiming benefits during the pandemic.

 

Get a Free Credit Report Every Week

Watching your credit report like a hawk just got easier. Instead of just once a year, the three major credit bureaus are now allowing consumers to access their credit reports free every week at AnnualCreditReport.com until April 2021. Her Money explains how you can maximize the increased access to your credit information.

 


Multimedia

How to Finance Homeschooling for Your Children

In this Your Money’s Worth podcast, Kiplinger’s takes a look at the expenses involved with homeschooling and offers tips for reining in those costs.

 

How the Coronavirus Crisis Affects Retirement Planning

On Morningstar’s “The Long View” podcast, Jonathan Guyton, CFP® discusses the benefits of Treasuries in retirement, implementing a flexible portfolio withdrawal strategy and weighing the decision to do a Roth conversion in 2020.

 

CARES Act Affects Rules for Retirement Accounts

In The Street’s “Retirement Daily” podcast, Editor Robert Powell, CFP® talks with retirement plan expert Denise Appleby about how the CARES Act affects the rules for retirement accounts, from the new law’s 2020 RMD waiver and provisions that make it easier to tap retirement accounts early.

 

Dealing with Stock Market Uncertainty

Investors have experienced a rough ride in recent months. In this panel discussion, CFP Board Ambassador David Holland, CFP®; Amy Hubble, CFP®; Cary Carbonaro, CFP®; and Elizabeth Hand, CFP® offer guidance on how to handle stock market gyrations.