COVID-19: Loan Options and Payment Relief


The COVID-19 crisis spares almost no one when it comes to finances. While a second Congressional relief plan may help close the financial gap left by unemployment and other hardships, some may still turn to loans. If you already have a personal loan, you may need help making your payments.

While many personal lenders have tightened approval requirements, others have introduced low rate, low value loans to consumers facing financial difficulties. Lenders who previously had payday plans in place for customers affected by COVID-19 have moved to a more case-by-case approach.

NerdWallet’s Guide to COVID-19

Learn how to manage your money during tough times, from balancing expenses and savings to getting relief.

If you need to borrow money

It may be worth calling on local nonprofits, charities, or credit unions for access to low-cost emergency funds. If not, here are lenders who can help you if you need to borrow money on a short term basis.

Capital goods fund

Capital goods fund offers a relief loan to consumers in the six states in which it operates: Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Texas. These small loans have a low annual percentage rate and deferred payments for the first three months.

Amount of the loan: $ 300 to $ 1,500.

APR: 5% for all approved borrowers.

Term: 15 months, payments starting after the first three months. Payments may be further deferred if the COVID-19 crisis continues beyond. Interest will accrue during the 90-day deferral period, CEO Andy Posner said.

The lender prioritizes the banking history in its underwriting process. Instead of using a borrower’s current income and expenses, Posner says the Capital Good Fund will try to figure out whether an applicant can afford the current income loan, and if not, the lender will determine whether the applicant could have done so. allow the loan before the crisis.

The loans do not involve application, closing or early repayment costs and do not require any collateral. Borrowers can expect a decision two days after submitting an application, and Posner says that applications for the crisis relief loan will take priority over other applications.

Financing of salaries

Salary Finance offers loans through employers and Equifax partners to give businesses insight into the financial health of employees. The partnership was in the works before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, said Dan Macklin, CEO of Salary Finance, and its offer does not depend on the pandemic’s influence on the economy.

Through this partnership, employers have access to anonymized information on workers’ credit, Macklin explains. Businesses can use the data for free to identify and address the groups that are under the most financial stress.

Salary funding is typically offered by human resources departments as a benefit to employees, Macklin explains. Payments made on Salary Finance loans are reported to the three credit bureaus.

Amount of the loan: $ 1,000 to $ 5,000, up to 20% of an employee’s salary.

Other borrowing options

Credit unions: These non-profit institutions offer some of the most user-friendly loans. A credit union loan often comes with a lower APR and more flexible terms than that of a bank or online lender.

Borrowers with fair and bad credit (629 or less FICO) may have a better chance of obtaining approval from a credit union because underwriting processes tend to involve more than credit information.

Some credit unions also offer alternative payday loans, which are safer than short-term, high-interest payday loans. These loans have a maximum APR of 28%.

Online lenders: Online lenders can be a quick option for emergency loans. You will likely need good credit and a stable income to qualify in today’s climate. If you are not sure if you qualify or what rate you will get, you can pre-qualify for a loan online with NerdWallet. Prequalification does not affect your credit score.

If you are worried about making payments

Some lenders offer help, such as deferred payments and waiver of late fees, to consumers who are having difficulty. If you need help but your lender isn’t listed here, check out the other options for financial aid.

Best egg

Best egg encourages borrowers to connection to their account to see what options may be available.

Customers can choose from payment deferrals, adjusted payments, or a debt management program that can reduce monthly payments on all debts, according to a company spokesperson.


Discover previously a one month postponement was available. A spokesperson confirmed that the program has since ended, and the company is encouraging borrowers to seek help with the loan instead.

Customers who need support for more than a month can call 866-248-1255 or use the company’s mobile app to reach a Discover agent.


If you have trouble paying a HSBC personal loan, you can request a difficulty plan by calling 800-524-9686. The company has different hardship programs for its products and does not specify what modifications are available to personal loan borrowers. A spokesperson did not respond to several requests for clarification.

Loan Club

Loan Club still allows borrowers affected by COVID-19 to defer payments and only pay interest during the deferral, according to a spokesperson.

The lender publishes updates on its information page and has set up a hardship inquiries line: 877-644-4446. The company says it takes up to 10 days to process hardship requests.

In May, LendingClub launched a resource for existing personal loan customers called Member Center, according to a press release. In addition to payment options that help borrowers get back to their regular payment schedule, the Member Center has a tool called Credit Profile that helps clients manage their money and improve their credit. It gives members a complete view of their financial lives, including information such as their debt-to-income ratio, credit usage, and credit score.

A spokesperson for the company said the tool will remain available to customers after the COVID-19 crisis subsides.


LightStream may allow customers affected by pandemic or other natural disasters to defer loan payments. E-mail [email protected] to receive a phone number that will put you in touch with someone who can discuss your difficulties. You cannot defer a payment if you are within two days of a scheduled automatic payment.

Deferrals are reported to the credit bureaus as a deferral affected by a natural disaster and will not adversely affect your credit score, according to the company. These payments are deferred at the end of your loan and interest will accrue while the payments are deferred.

Borrowers can log in and visit the Account Services page to request a deferral, or send an email [email protected] with questions.


Main will work with borrowers who are having trouble making their payments. The lender’s borrower assistance program, which was part of the loan before the pandemic hit, can help borrowers receive deferred or reduced monthly payments, according to a spokesperson.


Opportune can offer customers reduced and deferred payments. The company says it won’t report missed payments this late to the credit bureaus if you make arrangements in advance. Customers can reach the company by email at [email protected] or at 650-419-5779.


OppLoans offers 30 days of missed payments with no “no questions asked,” for those affected by COVID-19, CEO Jared Kaplan said. After that, customers can apply for a 90-day hardship program that will cut their payments in half. He says these accommodations will not negatively affect credit scores.


PenFed proposes to let eligible borrowers skip a payment. To see if you are eligible, Sign into your account and select “Financial Assistance to Members Affected by COVID-19”.

PenFed also has a distress center, where clients can request a Temporary Hardship program (less than six months) or a Permanent Hardship program (more than six months).


PNC says it can offer deferred or reduced payments to loan clients who are just getting into trouble or whose hardship plans are about to expire. For most customers, the company says it can immediately confirm eligibility for help. To apply, visit the Cabin Crew Members coronavirus hub page and click on “Request assistance in case of consumer loan difficulties”.

Financing possible

Financing possible has a forbearance plan that will allow customers to defer payments. The lender hasn’t posted much information about the plan since it posted a blog post in March, but customers can still contact customer service through its general inquiry form.


Reached has loan modification options available for some customers affected by COVID-19, including an extended loan term or forbearance, according to an Upstart spokesperson. Previously, customers could defer payment for up to two months without interest or penalties.

Wells fargo

Wells fargo will defer monthly payments for three consecutive billing cycles for customers eligible for personal loans. Those who have already received help can still ask for more. Log in to your online account to see your options.

To reach a Wells Fargo customer service representative, call 877-269-6056.

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