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Consumer advice: Ask for help with your bills before an emergency

For Immediate Release

U.S. PIRG Education Fund provides financial tips and resources during COVID-19

WASHINGTON -- This coming Monday, June 1, will mark the third full month that bills are due since COVID-19 was declared a national state of emergency in March. To help Americans manage their finances, U.S. PIRG Education Fund has published an updated guide with tips on what to do about paying bills during the crisis.

Mike Litt, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Consumer Campaign director, issued the following advice to consumers struggling with financial difficulties during the pandemic:

“If you think you may eventually need help paying your bills, now is the time to research your options and reach out. Ask the companies or people you owe money to for relief from your bills before it turns into a financial emergency. 

“Asking for help sooner is also better because as more people run out of their savings, financial companies may see a surge in requests and experience a backlog. Additionally, the future of unemployment benefits and some other types of relief is uncertain past the summer. 

“As you reach out to companies, get agreements for help in writing. Check your financial statements and credit reports to make sure that agreed-upon changes to your payments are accurate.”

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