JUST A BACKGROUND INFO, the Philippines’ Bayanihan to Heal As One Act has directed lenders to grant a 30-day grace period or extension for the payment of all loans, including credit card payments and pawnshop loans, falling due within the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, without slapping interest or any additional charges and fees on the borrowers. In the same way, Meralco and other utility firms have also extended payment deadlines for the monthly bills.
While these can be perceived as good news, your decision whether to settle all payments on time or not should be imperatively geared towards mitigating possible financial drawbacks. You cannot afford falling into a more complicated trap while trying to recover from the crisis. If your budget permits, it’s always better to keep up with your bills and loan repayments for a number of reasons.
 Business is business, and whether the lockdown would be lifted by mid-May or not, still these firms that provide you with utility and financial services will soon collect repayments for what you’ve consumed and borrowed.
 You’ve just been given humanitarian considerations with all those deadline extensions to prioritize essential expenditures and at least find some financial relief amidst the global coronavirus crisis.
 Your available stash for bills and loan repayments might be spent unintentionally on other needs, e.g., food and entertainment, that in the first place, already have their allotments from the household budget.
 As soon as the outbreak subsides, these firms get back to normal operations, and all extensions are lifted, you might end up hit with large payments that cost extra psychological burden.
 By keeping up with bills and loan repayments, you can save yourself from a possible dilemma or from making more difficult financial choices in the future. You can never predict what other needs will arise when the lockdown is lifted.
 Your key to keeping up with bills and loan repayments is always a solid budget. You might have retooled it because of the crisis, but such items, although pushed back a little for other priorities, should still be there and not deliberately excluded.
 While it’s quite impossible to implement a budget that runs short of funds, it’s more realistic of course to prioritize essential needs. With prudence and frugality, there is a big possibility of cutting down on these and save little by little for bills and loan repayments.
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