SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Financial institutions and the federal government are stepping up to help their customers.
The most important thing a consumer can do is pick up their phones and make some calls. There is a lot of help out there, but you must ask for it.
Credit card companies are stepping up, with the Apple Card leading the way. Apple Card holders can skip their next payment without paying interest.
US Bank is waiving many fees and working on its payment-skipping program.
Discover Card won't report late payments to credit bureaus.
Those with federal student loans just got a break today. The president has said all interest on federally held student loans will be temporarily waived.
According to President Donald Trump: "Today Secretary DeVos has directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loans payments for at least the next 60 days and if we need more, we will extend that."
Those with mortgage payments are receiving help from lenders too. Two large lenders here are working with their borrowers. Wells Fargo is offering Is offering fee waivers and payment deferrals. Bank of America borrowers can skip a payment which will be added to the end of the loan.
Satellite and cable companies are offering help, and so are phone companies. The Federal Communications Commission called on telecom and wireless carriers to sign their "Keep Americans Connected" pledge, to ensure customers are not cut off from communications during this time.
Comcast also signed the FCC's pledge. According to USA TODAY, Comcast "is offering free access to its Xfinity WiFi hot spots for everyone, including non-subscribers, for the 60 days. It's also providing unlimited data to its customers for no extra charge and is not disconnecting internet service or charging late fees for customers who say they can't pay their bills. The company is also providing 60 days of free basic internet service to new customers."
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