What should you do if your business has been affected by the coronavirus crisis and credit card bills you can’t pay are piling up? The most important thing is to communicate with your issuer. Here’s a roundup of what some of the major players are doing.
The coronavirus crisis has put financial pressure on businesses of all sizes.
Many business owners are worried they won’t be able to make their business credit card payments.
So what should you do if cash is not flowing and credit card bills you can’t pay are piling up? The most important thing is to communicate with your credit card issuer.
Each credit card issuer is handling the situation in its own way. Here’s a roundup of what some of the major players are doing.
American Express issued the following statement regarding its small business credit cards:
“American Express is ready to help our customers and we will work together with them to find a solution. For our small business card members, we can discuss payment options or available financial hardship programs that offer a range of short-term and long-term assistance.
“Some of the options may include reduced monthly payments and the waiving of certain fees. As you know, the situation is changing rapidly, so our approach to providing the best possible support and service to our customers will continue to evolve in real-time.”
You can visit the Amex website for more information about its financial hardship programs.
Bank of America
Bank of America issued an extensive statement. Here is an excerpt:
“Working on a case-by-case basis, as we’ve done in many other situations including the government shutdown and natural disasters, Bank of America’s additional assistance for clients impacted by the coronavirus includes:
- “Consumer and small business deposit accounts: clients can request refunds including overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds fees and monthly maintenance fees.
- “Consumer and small business credit cards: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees.
- “Small business loans: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees.
- “Auto loans: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.
- “Mortgages and home equity: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.
- “In all of these instances, there will be no negative credit bureau reporting for up-to-date clients.
- “We have also paused foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions.”
Capital One has published a webpage for customers who need assistance during the coronavirus crisis.
Here is an excerpt:
“We … understand that there may be instances where customers find themselves facing financial difficulties. Capital One is here to help, and we encourage customers who may be impacted or need assistance to reach out to discuss and find a solution for you.
“Should you find yourself in need of assistance, please contact us.”
Citi has published a statement on how it is helping both consumers and small business customers.
Here is an excerpt:
“For retail bank small business customers: Fee waivers on monthly service fees and remote deposit capture; waived penalties for early CD withdrawal; bankers available after hours and on weekends for support.
“In addition, we have a range of existing assistance programs, including:
“For eligible credit card customers: Credit line increases and collection forbearance programs.”
Discover issued the following statement:
“Discover is extending relief to qualified customers who are experiencing financial difficulty caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Discover customers may receive assistance that can include support related to payment timing, fees and late payments.
“We encourage them to contact us by calling, and are also directing them to www.Discover.com/coronavirus for phone numbers for each product line and other FAQs. We also are providing relief through our mobile text app, which connects a customer directly with an agent.”
The most important thing to do in a situation like this one, which is beyond any one person’s control, is to make sure you and your family have food, shelter and health care.
If you have to negotiate delayed payments on your business credit card bills to ensure you have the basic necessities of life at the moment, do what you have to do. Once the U.S. is open for business again, you’ll be able to start chipping away at any business debts you have.
President Donald Trump on March 27 signed a stimulus package that will get some cash into the bank accounts of Americans who are in distress. It includes provisions to help small business owners with loans. Stay on top of the news so you can apply for relevant relief.
There are also many grant programs being announced by cities and nonprofits. Spend some time applying for them if you are in distress. Any cash you can get flowing into your business will make a difference.