Resources for paying bills during COVID-19 pandemic

Spending Smarter: Pay your bills if you can afford to; try these tips if you can't

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Another first of the month has arrived and so many of you have wondered where the money will come from to pay your bills. It can be hard to come up with the finances to pay bills right now but experts recommend you don’t avoid them. If you can afford to pay your bills, do so. The payments you skill will need to be paid eventually.

If you have a federally-backed mortgage, your payments can be paused for up to 12 months and you won't have to pay all of that back at once. It can be spaced out on the back end. You'll need to call your lender or mortgage company and ask what options you have to extend your payments.

If you rent your home, contact your landlord or complex to find out their exact policy. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said evictions have been suspended until at least May 15 in the state. He reiterated Monday that if a Louisianan can’t pay rent, then they need to contact the landlord and get whatever agreement in writing. You can check the COVID-19 section on your state website for policies they implemented on evictions.

As far as utilities and other bills are concerned, most companies suspended shutoffs and waived late fees during the crisis. It's best to call utility companies and ask what they offer. They could give you flexible payment options or freeze your payments all together.

If you reach out to a company and it won’t help you, you can go to consumerfinance.gov and file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Another way to cut costs during the pandemic, consider conserving energy while you're home. Turn off the lights when you leave a room and unplug your small appliances.

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