Don't give up on a 2nd stimulus check — here's the possible timing
Don't give up a second stimulus check - here's the possible timing
Members of both major political parties have claimed they support a second round of these $ 1,200 coronavirus "stimulus checks" to give households a financial boost and stimulate the economy.
But if you've been trying to pursue the Washington maneuver over new COVID relief, you've probably got a bad case of whiplash by now.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spoke again days after President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that the White House was moving away from the negotiating table.
Trump later tweeted that he would be ready to sign a standalone bill that only includes direct payments to Americans. On Friday he cheered the negotiators "Go Big!"
A deal doesn't seem tight, but with an election imminent, it's also hard for money consumers to give up hope. Here's what we currently know about when or if you will receive additional coronavirus money from the government.
2. Stimulus checks: what happens?
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It's been more than six months since Trump signed the bill that gave you your first - and so far only - stimulus check. (Which were mostly in the form of direct deposits, not checks.)
The typical payment was $ 1,200, although the amount expired for higher-income Americans. Families were paid $ 500 per child, but only until the age of 16.
Households destroyed by layoffs and lockdowns used the money to buy groceries or pay bills. Americans in better financial shape went into high gear or used the money for more practical purposes like buying affordable life insurance to protect family members if a breadwinner died of the virus.
In early October, the Democratically controlled US house approved a new $ 2.2 trillion bill that offers most taxpayers $ 1,200 plus $ 500 per dependent. But the House has to make a deal with the Republicans who run the Senate and the White House.
After his recent hospitalization for COVID-19, the president tweeted that Spokesman Pelosi "is not negotiating in good faith" and said he had instructed his side not to end negotiations until after the November 3 elections.
But on Friday he said the talks had resumed. "Covid Relief Negotiations Proceeding. Go Big!" he said on Twitter.
How soon could you get more incentive money?
With unemployment still high and cooler weather predicting new spikes in infection and new lockdowns, many consumers have been hoping for an additional $ 1,200.
The White House is now proposing that new direct payments be part of a $ 1.8 trillion relief effort that's $ 400 billion less than the house bill.
Pelosi has dismissed the offer as "insufficient" and "one step forward, two steps back". Meanwhile, Senate Republicans believe the White House package is too large.
Nobody gets any money until the negotiators can agree on a bill that the House and Senate pass and then the president signs.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says all of this "is unlikely in the next three weeks".
Once the laws are passed, the money could flow relatively quickly as the government has already gone through the process once this year.
If McConnell is wrong, and an agreement can be reached before Election Day this month, the money could end up in American pockets in November.
If the new COVID relief for Americans has to wait until after the election, new stimulus checks are unlikely to be done before December.
What are you doing in the meantime?
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If your budget is stretched to the limit and you could really use an extra $ 1,200 right now, there are a few ways you can find the money on your own - and no longer wait for Washington to band together.
Reduce the cost of your debt. If you have high-yielding credit cards with you, you can accumulate these balances at a lower interest rate in a debt consolidation loan. You'll make this debt cheaper, replacing multiple monthly payments with just one.
Reduce your insurance costs. Auto insurance companies have cut their rates in the wake of the pandemic, but if yours doesn't lead to a break then you should look for a better one. And when your homeowner insurance is due, check and compare competing insurers for quotes to get the best deal on coverage.
Refinance your mortgage. If you have a mortgage and haven't refinanced in 2020, you are overdue. Thanks to some of the lowest mortgage rates ever, more than 19 million homeowners have the potential to cut their monthly payments by around $ 300 through a refi, says data firm Black Knight.
Reduce your monthly expenses. Drop your cable and use a cheaper streaming service instead. Fight the temptation to order dinner delivery and prepare meals in your own kitchen. Download a free browser extension that will help you get the best price every time you shop online.
Take up a sideline. Make a little extra cash by securing a side appearance. Turn a hobby into a source of income or use an online marketplace to find someone willing to pay for your talents and skills.
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