Article updated: July 10, 2020

The Calm Before the Storm

After the first week of March settled in, I started to have an eerie feeling that it would be the very last time I would be walking out of the Hilton property I worked out in Dallas, Texas… likewise I wondered how much longer I’d still be driving to my morning job in Downtown Dallas. It did not take long for both jobs to have me furloughed by March 18, 2020– I no longer had income to make ends meet.

Life, Obligations and Debts DEFERRED

I started making calls to banks, creditors and liabilities. There was no early response to COVID-19 in the United States for money-related advice. I knew what was the first thing I had to do. The question on my mind: “When was the best time to call?” Calling “too soon” meant there may not be any policies in place on what to do to get our liabilities deferred.

Phone-Call Experience during COVID

All calls below made in March 2020 in a spreadsheet reflects to the world on how we reacted during the pandemic. Some creditors took early initiative. Some banks were prioritizing late payments vs people calling in advance to future-date. There were some that made it difficult and you can see for yourself below.

ALL Calls made March 20, 2020 – April’s Calendar:

DATEWait BUSINESS NAME / ISSUING BANKResolved?
April 1N/ARENT DueN/A
April 2N/ASpectrum Internet DueN/A
April 3PHONEKohl’s Charge
Action taken: deferred April’s payment.
Advised: I was asked to call back on this due date to ensure their system drops late fees.

Walmart Credit Card by Capital One
Action taken: deferred April’s payment
Advised: I will need to call again if my economic situation drags on more than one month.
YES to both
April 5PHONE
40min+
BarclaysUS Credit Card
Action taken: deferred April’s payment
YES
April 8PHONE
1hr 34min
Amazon Prime Credit Card by Chase
Action taken: deferred April’s payment
YES
April 13ONLINE MESSAGE & PHONE
1hr
GameStop by Comenity Bank
Action taken: deferred April’s payment
YES
April 14PHONESam’s Club Credit Card by Synchrony Bank
Advised: call back on March 23rd– bill for April not generated yet.

BestBuy by Citibank
Action taken: Not doing anything for COVID-19 relief except waiving the late fee they still expect their monthly payment. Hardship program due to income loss still applies– with closure of card and monthly payments still expected.
YES




NO AT FIRST, POLICIES CHANGED AFTER
April 20PHONECapital One
Action taken: deferred April’s payment
Advised: I will need to call again if my economic situation drags on more than one month.
YES
April 24PHONEBank of America
Action taken: POSTPONED payments until May 15th!
interest still accrues (subject to change)
YES
April 25PHONECredit Card Consolidation Loan by UPSTART
Action taken:Hardship Waiver submitted
Advised: Monthly payments are subject to increase for the remainder of my 24,000 debt consolidation loan– which is a bummer. I had 13 payments left– and I was faithfully paying 791.99/mo. To think that will increase after the deferral period HURTS.
NO AT FIRST, POLICIES CHANGED AFTER
April 28PHONE
1hr
PlayStation Credit Card by Comenity Bank Advised: call back on April 28 (called April 13) currently aiding those who are one or two days behind or past due…(forgot to call back)N/A
DATEWAIT BUSINESS NAME / ISSUING BANKResolved?
Disclaimer:
Banks contacted in regards to financial hardship assistance, did not all have guidance on March 20, 2020

As seen above, going by the amount of debts, and no savings, I did not think I could survive a furlough from all income. So… I applied for Amazon Technical Support and went through the process. During hiring, I was cross-trained in Kindle Technical Support and Retail Customer Service. I got my first work-from-home job.