Dozens of lawmakers in the House and Senate believe Americans should receive a fourth pandemic relief payment, but it remains to be seen whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders will succeed.
The idea has divided Washington: Republicans can be counted on to oppose yet another stimulus check, and moderate Democrats may need to be persuaded to join us.
But if you’re anxious to receive another payment, to help cover your bills and pay off your debts, more federal money may already be available.
Here are a few ways to get what could be considered a new stimulus check, without having to wait for Congress to pass new legislation.
Monthly stimulus checks for families start soon
Starting July 15, the IRS will send monthly payments to nearly 39 million households, as part of a temporary extension of the child tax credit.
The boosted credit, which was included in the COVID stimulus bill President Joe Biden signed in March, offers families $ 250 per month for each child aged 6 to 17 and $ 300 for each child under 6 years, for the rest of the year.
The checks will provide half of the credit for 2021. The rest can be used as a refund when parents report their income next year.
If your family has filed a return this year, the IRS should have enough information to automatically provide child credit payments. The tax agency recently introduced a portal where households can check their eligibility for the money and ensure it will be directed to the correct bank account.
Homeowners Can Get Stimulus Checks
Although the pandemic ushered in ultra-low mortgage rates that inundated some homeowners with refinancing savings, many others are still struggling to make their house payments.
If you’re struggling to stay up to date on your mortgage and are worried about heading into delinquency or even foreclosure, the government has money to help. March’s Biden COVID rescue program created a $ 10 billion homeowner assistance fund, with a minimum of $ 50 million earmarked for each state.
You can apply for the money through your state’s housing agency.
To get your share of the funds, you will need to provide proof that you are under financial stress due to COVID. You are eligible if you don’t earn more than 150% of your region’s median income and as long as your loan balance does not exceed $ 548,250.
Incentive money is also available for tenants
In the last two pandemic relief bills – the one in March and a precedent signed in December – Congress has approved a total of $ 46.6 billion in emergency aid for tenants who cannot not pay their rent.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition calls the amount of assistance available to tenants “unprecedented”. You are entitled to help if you can prove that the pandemic has affected your ability to pay rent or utilities, and that you are at risk of homelessness.
Renters can get up to 18 months of assistance to cover missed and future rents. Here are some examples of what it looks like in the United States: Qualifying tenants in Texas can receive up to $ 4,600 per month; in Illinois, they can get lump sums of up to $ 25,000.
The funds are distributed by more than 400 state and local agencies.
What about a real fourth stimulus check?
Dozens of federal lawmakers and more than 2.5 million petitioners have argued that many Americans are still in need of financial assistance due to the ongoing disruption due to the pandemic.
Some proposals call for at least one additional conventional stimulus check. Others ask for regular payments of $ 2,000 or want checks sent automatically in response to certain financial triggers.
Supporters of the extra aid say households need it for the basics: food and shelter. But surveys have found that the latest stimulus checks were mainly used to reduce debt or invest in stocks.
Democrats who control Congress could include a fourth stimulus check in a new multibillion-dollar spending bill they hope to pass using a budget trick that would allow them to avoid Republicans. But most of Congress is now absent until July 19, then lawmakers only return two weeks before their long summer break.
Other ways to find relief
If you are not eligible for family stimulus checks or the like, there are plenty of ways to find the extra cash on your own as Washington sorts through if there will be another government garden variety payment. .
Manage your debt. If you have multiple credit card balances and other high interest debt, consolidate them into one debt consolidation loan. You’ll only have one payment to pay, and the lower interest rate will lower the cost of your debt and help you pay it off faster.
Lower your home costs with a refi. If you’re a homeowner and haven’t refinanced your mortgage in the past year, you could be missing out on big savings. With mortgage rates again below 3%, mortgage technology and data provider Black Knight estimates that more than 14 million Americans could save an average of $ 287 per month by refinancing.
Make savings your policy. Take a look at what you pay for insurance. A little comparison shopping could save you a ton when it comes to renewing or buying home insurance. Shopping around also works well to find a lower rate on auto insurance.
Save on the essentials. Prices can be everywhere when shopping online. Avoid overpaying by downloading a free browser add-on that will automatically search for lower prices and coupons before clicking “buy”.
Turn your pennies into profits. Finally, you don’t need another stimulus check to get some returns in today’s scorching stock market. A very popular app helps you invest in a diverse portfolio using little more than your “coin” from your daily purchases.