COVID 19 FAQs: Programs for Individuals, Small Businesses, and Independent Contractors

Many people out there are buried in resources, trying to find programs to help with COVID 19 at both the individual and business levels. We have put together some resources below to help with each of these different grants, loans, and programs available to help you.

The relief bill, worth $2 trillion, will send money directly to individuals, small businesses and independent contractors. There are lots of great opportunities for our community and here are the answers to common questions about what’s in the plan. We’ll update the article below as we know more about the details. Join Kim Gamez, CEO and Founder of Mi Padrino and Brandon Adler, Mortgage Specialist as they discuss these programs and benefits of each in the video below.

Resources and FAQ: Individuals

Stimulus Checks

  • Checks will be issued for $1200 per adult and $500 per child (16 and under).
  • Income must be $75,000 or less to get a full check ($150k per couple).
  • Do you have to have already filed 2019 taxes?
    • Yes, that is how you will qualify. The first people to receive the stimulus checks will be those that have bank information on file with the IRS for direct deposit. 
  • Need to Apply? No
  • Timing: Deposits will start April 17
  • Other useful information: New York Times: FAQ 

Unemployment

  • State minimum plus $600
    • Example: A worker was making $900 per week in Michigan; they’d be eligible for the maximum state unemployment benefit of $320 per week. Under the new expansion, they get an additional $600 of federal pandemic unemployment compensation, for a total of $920, essentially replacing their original paycheck.
  • Unemployment Eligibility for DACA recipients (Dreamers)
    • DACA recipients who live within the states of California, Colorado, New York, and Texas are eligible for unemployment benefits. These benefits will not be counted against you based on the new Public Charge regulation.
    •  Informed Immigrant
  • Gig workers, Freelancers, and Independent Contractors
  • As unemployment rates are expected to reach and surpass 15% in the coming weeks, experts at Bankrate created a 13 step guide detailing measures you can take to remain financially stable after losing your job.
    • Here’s the link to their guide.

       

Mortgage Refinancing or New Purchases

  • Mortgage Rates 
    • Every Thursday Freddie Mac posts an average interest rate for the week on their homepage.  Scroll down on the homepage. The rates tend to be “best-case scenario”, but will give an approximate idea of what the rate will be.
  • When is the best time to apply?
    • Refinancing – We are recommending now!  Talk to your lender and get an application ready so you can take advantage when/if rates drop again.  If it’s not the best time, your lender will help create a plan with you.
    • Purchases – Your timeline will be based on when you can find the home that fits your needs, as well as your monthly budget.  It’s easier to buy a home in a low-interest rate market, but people are still going to purchase their own homes when rates are 6%. Talk with your lender and create a plan that works for you, hopefully, it permits taking advantage of low rates!

Mortgage Payments

  • Call your mortgage servicer (ie: who you make payments to) and attest that you were impacted by COVID 19
  • Payment forbearance should be available – this “suspends” payments for up to 6 months
    • At the end of 6 months, payments are due
    • If you cannot pay, the servicer will try to work out a new arrangement – adding deficiency to payments over 3, 6, or 9 months, or possibly reviewing “modification” options to put on the end of the loan (these are very complicated, ask your servicer for details)
    • To be clear, this is not a freebie. Similar to “Skip Payment” plans offered by many banks during the holidays, there is ZERO financial benefit for this. You will end up paying more in interest, so pay if you can.
  • Fannie Mae has some information about mortgage payments here  
  • Does Fannie Mae own my loan? 
    • Check via this handy loan lookup 
      • Here for Fannie Mae
      • Here for Freddie Mac 
  • Edward Jones provides another great overview here 
  • Talk to your mortgage servicer and find out what is best for you and your unique circumstance 

Rent Payments

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed loans can not evict,  but unfortunately, most multifamily homes are not Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans. Washington Post has a lot of great information regarding this topic.
  • Contact your landlord ASAP if you can not pay rent on time to make arrangements

Resources and FAQ: Small Business Owners

SBA Business Disaster Loan: 

  • Up to $2M at 3.75% APR
  • Takes about 10 minutes (vs. 2-3 hours before) 
  • The SBA is offering a $10k loan advance to anyone who applies, which does not need to be repaid. That means if you already applied you should go back and apply again. 
  • Here are some additional details from our friends at BeLatina
  • APPLY HERE 

Paycheck Protection Program

  • This program is fully forgiven(!)
  • 2.5X average monthly payroll costs + contractors (1099s)
  • Application Dates
    • April 1: Small Businesses 
    • April 10: Independent contractors and self-employed individuals
  • Apply with your local bank
  • Loan usage:
    • Payroll costs 
    • Health care benefits 
    • Mortgage interest obligations
    • Rent obligations
    • Utility payments
  •  Full Overview here

Economic Development Small Business 

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This is incredibly valuable. Thank you for providing this.

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