Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How new grads can handle 3 essential post-college questions. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on money goals and bank bonuses, the possibility of another stimulus check, and everything that goes away when coronavirus benefits end in July.

How New Grads Can Handle 3 Essential Post-College Questions
The real world is a bit different these days.

SmartMoney Podcast: Setting Money Goals at Milestone Birthdays, and Bagging Big Bucks with Bank Bonuses
Use your big birthday to set a new goal.

Is Another Stimulus Check Coming?
Maybe.

Here is everything that goes away when coronavirus benefits end in July
Start planning ahead for changes.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Now is the time to teach your Gen-Z kids about credit. Also in the news: 1 in 4 retirees say COVID-19 may force them to go back to work, when and how should you report your no-show stimulus check to the IRS, and how to set up a zero-based budget.

Now Is the Time to Teach Your Gen-Z Kids About Credit
Preparing them for the real world.

1 in 4 Retirees Say COVID-19 May Force Them to Go Back to Work. What This Could Mean for You
A dramatic change in plans.

When and how should you report your no-show stimulus check to the IRS?
Tracking down your check.

How to set up a zero-based budget
Making your income and expenses match.

Q&A: Stimulus money for Social Security recipients is finally on the way

Dear Liz: My mother filed a paper return for 2019 in early March but hasn’t received her refund yet. Also, she hasn’t received the stimulus check to which she is entitled. She receives Supplemental Security Income via direct deposit and she included her banking info on her tax return for direct deposit. Given the IRS’ limited staffing, when might she receive her money? Will she still receive her stimulus check if many more months pass before the IRS processes her tax return?

Answer: Your mom may have already received her stimulus paymentby the time you read this. The Social Security Administration said Tuesday that it had started sending payments to SSI recipients.

The best way to check her refund status is via the IRS site. People who filed electronically can check their refund status 24 hours after filing. When a paper return is filed, people should wait four weeks before checking. She’ll need to enter her Social Security number, filing status and exact amount of her expected refund.

Q&A: Getting your stimulus check

Dear Liz: Do you have suggestions on what we should do about not receiving our stimulus check? We have our Supplemental Security Income checks direct deposited, making our bank information correct and known to the IRS. I have checked the IRS “Get My Payment” site daily and continue receiving the message, “payment status not available.” I’ve contacted the IRS, our governor, both state senators, our congresswoman, the mayor and several in the media without a response. Whom can I contact to receive an answer and information?

Answer: The U.S. Treasury Department says people who receive SSI should receive their relief payments in early May. The huge volume of payments means the money is being doled out in stages, but the IRS portal that’s supposed to help you track your payment has experienced a number of glitches.

One possible workaround is to enter your address on the IRS website in capitalized letters. Older computer systems and buggy programs sometimes respond to capital letters when they can’t process lowercase ones. The IRS insists the tool is not case sensitive, but it does suggest not using punctuation when entering your address.

The $1,200 payments are being sent automatically, but if you’re on SSI and have children 16 or younger, you only have until May 5 to request an additional $500-per-child payment through the IRS portal.

Q&A: Where’s my stimulus check?

Dear Liz: My wife and I are retired and don’t have enough income to file tax returns. How can we get our stimulus checks?

Answer: If you get Social Security checks, your stimulus checks will be sent to you automatically, either via direct deposit if that’s how you get your benefits or paper check.

If you don’t collect Social Security yet and didn’t file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 because your income was below the limit to require filing, the IRS.gov website has more information.

The IRS has started sending out stimulus checks via direct deposit for people who filed 2018 or 2019 returns and provided their bank information. Those who filed returns but did not provide their bank information can follow an IRS “Get My Payment” link for assistance.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Where Coronavirus relief checks go, fraudsters follow. Also in the news: What to do if you’re a U.S. citizen stranded abroad right now, how to strengthen your financial resilience with these 3 insights, and why you should keep paying your federal student loans right now, if you can.

Where Coronavirus Relief Checks Go, Fraudsters Follow
Scammers never take a holiday.

What to Do If You’re a U.S. Citizen Stranded Abroad Right Now
Patience is key.

Strengthen Your Financial Resilience With These 3 Insights
Developing new strategies.

Keep Paying Your Federal Student Loans Right Now, If You Can
Save yourself some interest.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t let your Coronavirus relief check disappear into your debts. Also in the news: How to make your car last 200,000 miles, what kind of credit card relief you can request during the pandemic, and how to check the status of your Coronavirus relief payment.

Don’t Let Your Relief Check Disappear Into Your Debts
How your relief check could be diverted.

How to Make Your Car Last 200,000 Miles
Yes, you read that correctly.

COVID-19: What Kinds of Credit Card Relief Can You Request?
Take the initiative and be prepared to spend a long time on hold.

How to Check the Status of Your Coronavirus Relief Payment
Tracking your money.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 credit card rules you can break in an emergency. Also in the news: How Gen X can start tackling its credit card debt, 6 tips to help your portfolio weather the coronavirus crash, and how to prep for and spend your government relief check.

7 Credit Card ‘Rules’ You Can Break in an Emergency
Times are different.

How Gen X Can Start Tackling Its Credit Card Debt
Don’t put it off any longer.

6 Tips to Help Your Portfolio Weather the Coronavirus Crash
Slow and steady.

How to Prep for and Spend Your Government Relief Check
Getting the most from your check.