Since the start of the pandemic, governments and organizations like Desjardins have established support measures and been offering financial relief to millions of people. But if you’re not sure what’s available and where to start, here’s a list of steps to give you a clearer picture. Follow our guide.
Step 1: Find out about government assistance
First, find out what kind of financial and tax measures are being offered by the federal and provincial governments. You may be entitled to compensation for loss of revenue, the salary top-up for low-income essential workers, the Canada child benefit payment increase, the special GST credit payment and certain payment deferrals (for your 2019 income tax and CMHC-guaranteed mortgages). You can get detailed information here:
- Government of Canada Economic Response Plan
- Government of Quebec response and support
- Government of Ontario response and support
Reminder: Suspension of student debt repayment
If you’re a student, you automatically get a deferral on repaying your student loans. Payments are suspended for 6 months starting on April 1, 2020. You don’t have to do anything to take advantage of this government measure.
Step 2: Contact your insurer
Next, contact your insurer to see if you’re eligible for individual or group insurance. For example, if you lose your job, your individual insurance may include some kind of coverage that you can take advantage of.
Step 3: Other payment deferrals: municipal taxes, Hydro-Québec, etc.
Some municipalities, school boards and Crown corporations are offering free payment deferrals to help you stretch your budget. Contact your municipality or service providers to find out about the measures available or to reach an agreement on deferring payment.
Step 4: Find out about Desjardins relief measures
We’ve introduced relief measures to help you meet your financial obligations. Please read the information about them and contact us if necessary.
Credit card: interest rate cut
Interest rates on Desjardins credit cards will automatically be reduced to 10.9% for members who have been granted a payment deferral. No action is required. The reduced rate will apply for the duration of the payment deferral period.
Auto insurance: refund of premiums
If you only use your car to make essential trips to places like the grocery store or pharmacy, you can ask for a refund on your auto insurance premium. Find out more.
Apply for an emergency loan
We’re offering financial assistance of up to $3,000 at 4.97% interest that can be repaid with a single payment (principal and interest) in 6 months. It can also be refinanced for up to 12 months.
Request a payment deferral
We’re offering payment deferrals of up to 6 months on your financing products, including credit cards, automobile and durable goods financing, Accord D financing, mortgages, lines of credit and Versatile lines of credit. Depending on your situation, you can ask for relief on one or more obligations. Decide what makes sense based on your budget.
Think carefully before taking advantage of a payment deferral (principal + interest). Keep in mind that debt accumulated during the crisis must be repaid, including deferred interest. Once things are back to normal, consider making a lump-sum payment, if possible, to cover the unpaid principal and interest accrued during the deferral period.
If, despite all the measures available, you need to resort to credit, exercise caution and avoid taking cash advances on your credit card. Check our article Adjusting your budget during COVID-19 to make sure you’ve considered all the options available before taking on debt.
Finally, everyone is unique and so is every solution. In most cases, having one of our Desjardins advisors analyze your situation will help you take advantage of the strategy best suited to your actual circumstances. Our priority is to help you get through this unprecedented time. Please feel free to contact us when required.
By Desjardins Group