Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Mortgage Outlook: A pre-election pause for October rates? Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on the unequal employment recover and the case for used cars, many avoid bankruptcy out of fear, and how to opt out of pre-screened credit offers.

Mortgage Outlook: A Pre-Election Pause for October Rates?
Rates are standing still.

Smart Money Podcast: Unequal Employment Recovery, and the Case for Used Cars
Used cars are a no-brainer if you’re trying to save money.

Many avoid bankruptcy out of fear
People often wait too long to file, draining retirement accounts or other assets that would be protected

How to Opt Out of Pre-Screened Credit Offers
Reducing your junk mail.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to pay for a home remodel without tapping your equity. Also in the news: U.S. unemployment shrinks, but recovery varies across race, sex, and age, how to avoid last-minute tax surprises when closing your business, and is COVID-specific travel insurance worth buying.

How to Pay for a Home Remodel Without Tapping Your Equity
Paying for a renovation equity-free can help you expedite the funding process and even start the project sooner.

U.S. Unemployment Shrinks, but Recovery Varies Across Race, Sex and Age
The recovery isn’t universal.

Thinking of closing your business? Avoid these last-minute tax surprises
Your state may also have requirements for dissolving your business, including canceling registrations and licenses.

Is COVID-Specific Travel Insurance Worth Buying?
What to consider before your next trip.

Q&A: Taking out a reverse mortgage may help if coronavirus wipes out your job

Dear Liz: I read with interest the letter from the person who was a tour guide and lost their job due to the virus. I kept reading, expecting you to suggest a reverse mortgage. Are these a bad idea?

Answer: Not necessarily. The person in question owned the home with a sibling, and the sibling did not live in the home, which could complicate the process of getting a reverse mortgage.

If there was substantial equity in the home, however, a reverse mortgage could pay off the existing mortgage and might be worth the effort. One way to investigate this option is to talk to a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do when your $600 weekly unemployment check expires. Also in the news: Which hotels have handled COVID-19 the best, how COVID-19 is changing the way families save for college costs, and the U.S. Mint asks for help getting coins back in circulation.

What to Do When Your $600 Weekly Unemployment Check Expires
The $600 pandemic assistance ends this week.

Which Hotels Have Handled COVID-19 the Best?
Grading hotel brands on their health and social distancing policies, along with their flexibility on bookings.

How COVID-19 Is Changing the Way Families Save for College Costs
Shifting priorities.

U.S. Mint asks for help getting coins back in circulation
The Mint wants your couch change.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to tell if that ‘contact tracer’ is really a scammer. Also in the news: Don’t wait to refinance these student loans, why you should aim for 1% credit utilization, and the $600 unemployment boost is likely ending. Here’s how you can access cash now.

Is That ‘Contact Tracer’ Really a Scammer? How to Tell
How to keep yourself.

Don’t Wait to Refinance These Student Loans
You could save money on your private loans.

Why You Should Aim for 1% Credit Utilization
The lower the better.

The $600 unemployment boost is likely ending. Here’s how you can access cash now
Barring an extension from Congress, the boost will end this week.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if your kid’s emergency fund is you? Also in the news: Frequently asked questions about Coronavirus unemployment, how 3D home tours are allowing buyers to keep their distance, and why you should make a COVID-19 backup plan before returning to your office.

What to do if your kid’s emergency fund is you?
The Bank of Mom and Dad.

Frequently asked questions about Coronavirus unemployment
Over 42 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March.

How 3D home tours are allowing buyers to keep their distance
Staying safe while shopping for a new home.

Why you should make a COVID-19 backup plan before returning to your office
It’s a whole new working world.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Credit score drop? How to diagnose why and what to do next. Also in the news: Put off debt payments to start saving now, going contactless as a way to pay safer, and many unemployed people aren’t aware of all the relief they may qualify for during the pandemic.

Credit Score Drop? How to Diagnose Why, and What to Do Next
If you got a payment modification and saw a score drop, it’s tempting to think they’re related. They may not be.

Put Off Debt Payments to Start Saving Now
In uncertain times, it makes sense to prioritize building a cash reserve over paying down debt balances.

Looking for Safer Ways to Pay? Go Contactless
Contactless payments like mobile wallets, P2P apps and tap-to-pay cards are easy to use and help lessen risk of contagion.

Many unemployed people aren’t aware of all the relief they may qualify for during the pandemic
Take a look at what’s available.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Is my money safe in a bank during the COVID-19 crisis? Also in the news: Helping home buyers keep their distance with e-closings, what kinds of credit card relief are available during the pandemic, and how to save for retirement while on unemployment.

Is My Money Safe in a Bank During the COVID-19 Crisis?
Should you be worried about your accounts?

Mortgage E-closing: Helping Home Buyers Keep Their Distance
Changes during the pandemic.

COVID-19: What Kinds of Credit Card Relief Can You Request?
Several options are being offered.

How to Save for Retirement While on Unemployment
Saving for the future is still important.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: For self-employed, filing for unemployment benefits is getting easier. Also in the news: How to pay rent when you can’t afford it, what to keep in mind with credit card payments during the pandemic, and how to find out what you owe the IRS.

For Self-Employed, Filing for Unemployment Benefits Is Getting Easier
What you need to know before filing a claim.

How to Pay Rent When You Can’t Afford It
Exploring your options.

COVID-19: What to Keep in Mind With Credit Card Bill Payments
Reach out to your card issuer.

Use This IRS Tool to Check What You Owe Them
Making sure you’re up-to-date.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to file for Coronavirus unemployment if you’re self-employed. Also in the news: Should you save your miles and points or spend them, 8 ways to switch up the new at-home normal, and a new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on what to do when you owe the IRS.

How to File for Coronavirus Unemployment if You’re Self-Employed

Double Take: Should You Save Your Miles and Points or Spend Them?

8 Ways to Switch Up the New At-Home Normal

SmartMoney Podcast: “Help! I Owe the IRS!”