So far, 2020 and 2021 have not turned out to be what we expected. Since the start of the public health emergency from the coronavirus, many people have experienced job loss and unemployment for the first time. Those affected are struggling to make ends meet as the unemployment rolls swell to over 30 million.
If you have financial obligations, like student loan debt, and are experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, here are 11 ideas to help make ends meet including ways to generate additional income as well as ways to beat expenses and improve your budget.
Solutions for the short- and long-term
For people struggling financially due to the pandemic, consider one or more of these actionable ideas to make ends meet and even thrive in this uncertain time:
- Get a side hustle like Uber, DoorDash, Postmates, or Instacart. Right now people are spending more time at home, so grocery and meal delivery gigs are plentiful.
- Sell on Etsy.com. If you have a hobby or talent that can be sold, Etsy is a terrific marketplace with over 48 million active buyers of everything from jewelry and clothing to graphics and photography. In 2019, Etsy grossed almost $5 billion in sales.
- Start an emergency fund with the extra cash you have from eating out less and giving up that concert or festival. This public health emergency may last for some time and there is a lot of uncertainty. Having an emergency fund for the future will give you a sense of confidence in the short term or the next time something like this happens.
- Private tutor at Tutor.com. Lots of kids are struggling with virtual learning and their parents fear they are falling behind. Tutors are in big demand right now.
- Sell gently used items. Everything from clothes on ThredUp.com or Swap.com to just about anything on eBay.com.
- Provide professional services on freelance sites like UpWork and Fiverr or run errands or handyman services on TaskRabbit.com.
- Maintain and even improve your credit score. Continue to make payments on any outstanding debt. Put extra cash toward focusing on your highest interest debt first and pay it down. Then focus on the next highest interest debt and so on.
- If you love animals, consider a dog-walking business on Rover.com.
- Housesitting gigs are available right now at Housesitter.com.
- If you have solid traffic, monetize your blog or YouTube video channel – social media advertising is expected to grow by 20% in 2020 to over $43 billion. Get a piece of that business now.
- Refinance student loans to make student debt management easier.
Financial benefits of refinancing student loans
If you are like most people, you graduated with student loan debt totaling more than $30,000. Student loan debt can be overwhelming during the best of times, but during this time of uncertainty, they can feel insurmountable.
With multiple due dates and interest rates, student loans can create a nightmare in terms of budgeting and forecasting for the future. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Refinancing your student loans into one convenient loan package not only streamlines your bills, but also can provide some clear benefits, including:
- Lower interest rates — With a solid credit history and gainful employment, you can potentially save thousands over the life of your loan by lowering your overall interest rate.
- Variable Interest Rates — During these times of uncertainty, you can also opt for a variable interest rate which is lower in the first few years and increases over time. Lower interest now may be the perfect solution to help you weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Lower monthly payments — With a lower interest rate comes a lower monthly payment or you can opt to extend your repayment term which would also lower that monthly bill. Federal loans are limited to a 10-year repayment term, but private lenders are much more flexible and offer terms up to 20 years.
How to find your best refinance rate
Wading into the refinancing waters can feel a bit overwhelming. There is a lot to understand and making comparisons can be tricky. That’s why Purefy created a rate comparison tool that is easy to use and gives you a summary of options based on actual estimates from a pool of premier lenders where you qualify.
With no impact to your credit, you can provide five pieces of simple information to receive a detailed, sortable list to assist you in finding the right lender for you.
If you are unable to seek credit on your own, whether due to credit history challenges or other factors, private student loan refinancing allows you to use a cosigner, such as a parent or spouse, to guarantee repayment.
What do I lose by refinancing my federal student loans?
When considering a refinance option, be sure that you understand some of the flexibility that you may lose with a private student loan. Federal direct student loans offer forbearance and alternative repayment plans based on income and service that are not available when refinancing with a private lender.
If these types of payment relief options are important to you and your financial situation, you may need to postpone refinancing until a later time.
The bottom line for financial advice during COVID-19
Whether your focus is bringing in additional income or restructuring your existing debt, there are options available even during a public health emergency.
Purefy is available to support you in your refinancing efforts by offering a rate comparison tool that’s free and doesn’t impact your credit score. Our tool will find lenders who fit your needs with easy-to-compare customized rate quotes based on your financial situation. Find the right lender and apply today.
Get more with our Rate Comparison Tool and see what our best lenders have to offer at Purefy.