|Posted on April 2, 2020 at 4:10 PM|
This post is intended to be a resource guide and is for informational purposes only. It is in no way a solicitation of business or services. If your job or financial situation have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus this information may be helpful to you.
Hidalgo County has increased its efforts to halt the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19 by issuing forbidding large gatherings and forcing the closure of many non-essential businesses likely to spread the disease. These measures, while absolutely necessary to combat the virus, are expected to remain well into June, and their effects on employment and the economy as a whole are likely to continue for many months afterward.
Below are links to the various utility companies and internet service provides suspending disconnects throughout the shutdown effort to help those who have lost their method of income or are experiencing financial hardship as well as the various banking institutions and lenders offering relief options for their customers.
Utilities providers suspending disconnects, updated every 5 minutes
Banks and Lenders offering Relief Options
- Ally Financial: Existing customers that have auto loans and/or mortgages might be able to defer payments for up to 120 days with no late fees. If you have a bank account through them, you can get your those fees waived as well.
- American Express: Cardmembers can reach out to Customer Care Professionals, who will work with you to find personal solutions which may include waiving late fees or return check fees, waiving interest charges for a period of time, reduced monthly payments or a temporary interest rate reduction.
- Apple: You can enroll in their Customer Assistance Program, which will allow you to skip your March payment without incurring interest charges on your Apple Card.
- Bank of America: They are offering assistance to qualifying consumer and small business clients facing hardships, including forbearance with certain fees.
- Barclays: Customers are encouraged to reach out to the specialist teams at Barclays for assistance. They are also enabling customers to apply for a temporary increase on their credit card limit.
- Capital One: All customers will be eligible for assistance depending on the type of product they have and their individual needs, including minimum payment assistance, deferred loan assistance, and fee suppression.
- Chase: The bank is working with our customers on a case-by-case basis right now.
- Citibank: Customers are encouraged to contact the bank for support with waivers on monthly service fees, waived penalties for early CD withdrawal, fee waivers on remote deposit capture for small business customers, credit line increases, collection forbearance programs, and mortgage hardship programs.
- Discover: Customers may receive assistance that can include support related to payment timing, fees, and late payments.
- Fifth Third Bank: They are offering coronavirus hardship assistance for customers needing loan support.
- LendingClub: They have the ability to work with their borrowers on skipping payments and delaying payments when hardship related to this does occur.
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Customers can postpone their loan payments by one month, without interest charged during the deferral period. They are also waiving early withdrawal penalties on CDs.
- NetCredit: They have developed an FAQ section on their website for current borrowers and are willing to work with impacted customers to adjust their payment schedule.
- PNC Bank: Customers are encouraged to reach out directly, and the bank is working with them on a case-by-case basis.
- Truist: Customers experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus can reach out to customer service.
- U.S. Bank: The bank is offering product discounts and other customized solutions, including lowered interest rates on select loan products.
- Wells Fargo: Customers experiencing hardship from the coronavirus disease can call customer service to speak with a trained specialist about their options.
Additionally, communications companies big and small have signed on to a "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" at the request of FCC chairman Ajit Pai and in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Pai spoke with broadband service providers and trade associations Thursday (March 12) and asked them, "in order to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances, to agree to the following for at least the next 60 days:
(1) Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
(2) Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
(3) Open its WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them."
“As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected," said Pai. "Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and—importantly—take part in the ‘social distancing’ that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus."
He said the FCC continues to talk with service providers about being able to keep up with changes in usage patterns--as in lots more traffic--during the pandemic to make sure it does not impair network performance.
ISPs have already taken some of those steps, but the FCC said the following companies have agreed to take the pledge.
• ACIRA – Powered by Farmers Mutual
Telephone Company & Federated Telephone
• Allstream Business US
• Antietam Broadband
• Atlantic Broadband
• BOYCOM Vision
• Burlington Telecom
• Cable One
• Central Arkansas Telephone Cooperative
• Cincinnati Bell
• Citizens Connected
• Consolidated Communications
• Cox Communications
• Digital West
• East Ascension Telephone Company
• Education Networks of America
• Emery Telecom
• Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative
• Google Fiber
• Grande Communications
• Granite Telecommunications
• Great Plains Communications
• Hiawatha Broadband
• Hill Country
• IdeaTek Telcom
• Lafourche Telephone Company
• Lakeland Communications
• Long Lines Broadband
• Mammoth Networks/Visionary Broadband
• Ninestar Connect
• Northwest Fiber
• Orbitel Communications
• Pioneer Communications
• Premier Communications
• Range Telephone Cooperative
• Reserve Telephone Company
• Sacred Wind Communications
• Shawnee Communications
• Socket Telecom
• TDS Telecom
• TelNet Worldwide
• TracFone Wireless
• Uniti Fiber
• US Cellular
• Vast Broadband
• Vyve Broadband Investments
• Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom
• Wave Broadband
• West Telecom Services, Windstream
• ZenFi Networks
And the trade associations ACA Connects, Competitive Carriers of America, CTIA, INCOMPAS, NCTA—The Internet and Television Association, NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association, USTelecom, and WISPA have all endorsed the pledge.
Please, feel free to share this with as many people as possible. It’s important that we all stay safe, stay indoors, follow the CDC’s guidelines and do our best to prepare for the long road ahead as we combat COVID-19.