Credit Card Debt Relief and Support Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, and some have been hit harder than others. With skyrocketing numbers of unemployed workers throughout the country, people are scrambling to figure out their new normal and how they’re supposed to pay their bills without an income.

Thankfully, many banks and credit card issuers are offering some relief. This post outlines what these institutions are doing to help and the best ways to contact them.

Credit Card Debt Relief and Support Due to COVID-19

If you’re not sure how you’re going to pay your bills during this pandemic, you’re not alone. It’s an unprecedented time right now, with sky-high unemployment and uncertainty about when the economy will open up again.

Thankfully, many banks and credit card issuers are offering support to help you navigate this uncertain time. We’ve compiled this list to help you quickly and easily find the information you need.

American Express

American Express has created a Coronavirus Support Hub to help you find answers on a variety of topics including managing your account, account security, and travel reservations booked through American Express Travel.

American Express is also extending welcome offer periods on credit card applications that are approved between December 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. If your credit card approval date falls in this time period, you’ll have an additional 3 months to spend the required amount to earn your welcome bonus.

While American Express hasn’t announced any specific debt relief protocols during this time, it does offer the American Express Financial Relief Program that can help lower monthly payments, provide temporary relief from late charges, temporarily lower your interest rates, and prevent your accounts from going past due.

How to Get Support from American Express

  • For the American Express Coronavirus Support Hub, click here.
  • For the American Express Financial Relief Program, click here or call 866-703-4169.

Bank of America

Bank of America is offering case-by-case assistance through its Client Assistance Program. This program is available to customers with personal and small business deposit accounts and credit cards, small business loans, auto loans, and mortgages.

Relief may include:

  • Refunds of overdraft, late, and non-sufficient funds fees
  • Refunds of certificates of deposit early withdrawal fees
  • Refunds of monthly account maintenance fees
  • Deferred payments on credit cards, loans, and mortgages

How to Get Support from Bank of America

  • To request a payment deferral online, click here.
  • To request a fee refund from Bank of America, call 800-432-1000.
  • For more information about Bank of America’s COVID-19 policy, click here.

Barclays

Barclays hasn’t created an official plan to help during the COVID-19 crisis. However, it has expanded its call center hours to help accommodate the increased call volume.

If you need help with your payments during this time, you can request payment relief online.

How to Get Support from Barclays

For payment relief on Barclays credit cards:

  1. Log on to your account on the website listed on the back of your credit card
  2. Select Contact Us
  3. Click Payment Relief to submit a request

For payment relief on personal loans:

  1. Log on to your account at mybarclaysusloan.com
  2. Click Payment Relief Request

For more information about how Barclays is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Capital One

Capital One hasn’t announced any specific programs in response to COVID-19.

If you need assistance, you’re advised to contact Capital One directly. For more information on Capital One’s response to COVID-19, click here.

Chase

Chase is allowing customers to delay up to 3 payments on personal and business credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans/leases.

How to Get Support from Chase

  • You can enroll online to request payment deferrals on your Chase credit card.
  • If you’re active duty military, contact Military Services by calling 877-469-0110.

Read more about Chase’s response to COVID-19 here.

Citi

Citi is offering several relief measures upon request.

Credit Cards: Citi will waive the minimum payment due requirement and late fees for 2 statement cycles.

Personal Loans: To defer monthly payment and late fees for 2 statement cycles.

Banking: Citi is offering fee waivers for safe deposit boxes and non-Citi ATM fees, effective April 3, 2020. Fees will be waived for monthly service fees and early certificate of deposit withdrawals through May 8, 2020.

Small Business: Fees are being waived on monthly service fees, remote deposit captures, and early certificate of deposit withdrawals through May 8, 2020.

Mortgages: Citi is offering a 90-day forbearance for customers experiencing financial hardship. Foreclosures and evictions have also been paused.

Student Loans: Forbearance programs are available through Citi’s subservicer, Firstmark.

How to Get Support from Citi

  • Credit Cards: Log in to your account to request this assistance online. To access the collections forbearance program, text “App” to 692-484.
  • Personal Loans: To defer monthly payment and late fees for 2 statement cycles, call 800-685-0935.
  • Mortgages: For more information about Citi’s forbearance, call 855-839-6253.
  • Student Loans: Contact Firstmark for more information about loan forbearance by calling 888-538-7378.

To read more about Citi’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

Comenity

Comenity is offering payment programs to help those customers needing financial assistance during this time, but details of these programs are not provided online.

How to Get Support from Comenity

  • Call the number on the back of your card for more information.

Read Comenity’s message in response to COVID-19 here.

Discover

Discover has support in place for qualified customers who are experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19.

How to Get Support from Discover

For more information, contact Discover through one of the following avenues:

  • Credit Cards: Send a message through your online account or the mobile app or call 800-497-2816
  • Online Banking: Call 800-347-7000
  • Personal Loans: Call 877-256-2632 Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m EST
  • Home Loans: Call 855-295-2193 Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m EST
  • Student Loans: Call 800-STUDENT

Visit Discover’s COVID-19 FAQ page here.

Fifth Third Bank

man credit card computer
You can often find a form online to request assistance without having to make a long phone call. Image Credit: Zivica Kerkez via Shutterstock

Fifth Third Bank has some programs in place to help customers who are experiencing hardships due to COVID-19.

  • Credit Cards: Your monthly payment requirement can be waived on credit cards for up to 90 days.
  • Fee Waivers: Fee waivers for up to 90 days can be obtained for a variety of products and services.
  • Business Banking: Select fees will be refunded for up to 90 days. Call 877-534-2264 for more information. Payment deferrals and loan modification options are also available for up to 90 days.
  • Foreclosures: Foreclosures are suspended for 60 days.
  • Mortgage/Home Equity: A 180-day payment forbearance is available.
  • Vehicles: Repossessions have been suspended for 60 days. Vehicle loan payments can be deferred up to 90 days.

How to Get Support from Fifth Third Bank

You can request hardship assistance from Fifth Third Bank in 2 ways:

  • Call 877-366-5520 Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST
  • Log into your online account and send a secure message through the message center with COVID-19 in the subject line. You’ll receive a response through email within 3-7 days.

To read more about how Fifth Third Bank is responding to COVID-19, click here.

HSBC

HSBC is offering customers a variety of relief measures to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Personal Banking: HSBC is offering fee waivers on ATM fees, overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees, and early withdrawal fees on CDs.

Personal Loans and Credit Cards: Payment reductions or deferrals are available. Also, fees for cash advances, insufficient funds, overdraft protection, and late fees will be waived for 60 days from the time of enrollment in the program.

Mortgage and Home Equity Loans: Payment reductions, deferrals, and late fee waivers are available.

Business Banking: ATM fees, overdraft fees, and monthly maintenance fees will be waived.

Business Credit Cards: Payment reductions, deferrals, and late fee waivers are available.

How to Get Support from HSBC

To request assistance, contact HSBC through the appropriate channel.

  • Deposit Accounts: Do a live chat or call 866-949-2351 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST
  • Personal Loans and Credit Cards: Send a secure message through your online account or call 866-949-2351 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST
  • Mortgages: Call 855-806-4657
  • Business Banking: Contact your relationship manager or call 833-722-4722 Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST or Saturday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST

To read more about how HSBC is responding to COVID-19, click here.

PNC Bank

PNC Bank offers a variety of ways to help its customers during this difficult time.

Credit card and mortgage fees will be waived or refunded. Some customers will be able to postpone monthly payments for auto loans, unsecured installment loans or unsecured lines of credit, credit cards, mortgages, and home equity loans or lines of credit. Students may also be able to postpone or modify their loans.

How to Get Support from PNC Bank

  • To request assistance from PNC Bank regarding your auto loan, personal or business credit card, home equity loan or line of credit, or a personal loan or line of credit, use this online form.
  • To request assistance from PNC Bank regarding your mortgage, use this online form.

For more information about PNC Bank’s coronavirus response, click here.

Synchrony

Synchrony is offering to help those customers who are experiencing financial hardships to do COVID-19.

Contact Synchrony to discuss any of the following:

  • Fee adjustments
  • Deferred payments
  • Extending a credit card promotion
  • Changing your credit limits

How to Get Support from Synchrony

To contact Synchrony, use the phone number on the back of your credit card or your statement.

To read more about Synchrony’s response to COVID-19, click here.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is offering assistance to some customers who are having financial difficulties during this time.

U.S. Bank’s Mortgage Assistance Plan may allow you to suspend your payments with no fees or penalties for up to 180 days. U.S. Bank is also offering assistance for auto, boat, RV loans and leases. 

If you’re approved for a new auto, boat, or RV loan from April 7, 2020, through June 30, 2020, you’ll be able to extend your first loan payment due date up to 60 days. This is valid in all states except Pennsylvania.

How to Get Support from U.S. Bank

  • Mortgage Assistance Plan: Log in to your account and select Mortgage assistance from the dashboard. If you don’t have an online account, click here to request assistance.
  • Existing Auto, Boat, or RV Loan: Log in to your online account to request a loan extension.
  • Existing Auto, Boat, or RV Lease: Call 800-USBANKS for assistance.

For more about U.S. Bank’s response to COVID-10, click here.

USAA

USAA is offering financial assistance to eligible members. Contact USAA to see if you qualify for the following:

Credit Cards: 90-day payment deferral

Loans: 60-day payment extension on consumer loans

Mortgages: Payment assistance for mortgages and home equity lines of credit

Banking: For deposit accounts with a negative balance at the time of a stimulus payment deposit, recovery of any negative balance will be paused for 90 days

Auto and Property Insurance: No fees will be charged for late payments on auto or property insurance policies through June 17, 2020; policies won’t be canceled due to late payments during this time

Life and Health Insurance: A 60-day extension and a 30-day grace period will be applied to life and health insurance payments

How to Get Support from USAA

To take advantage of any of these benefits, call USAA.

  • Banking: 855-764-4617
  • Mortgages: 855-430-8489
  • Home Equity Line of Credit: 800-531-0832
  • Auto and Property Insurance: 800-531-8722
  • Life and Health Insurance: 800-531-08068

For more information about USAA’s coronavirus financial assistance plans, click here.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is suspending residential property foreclosures, evictions, and involuntary vehicle repossessions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, Wells Fargo is offering special accommodations including fee waivers and payment deferrals to customers who request help. You can find Wells Fargo contact information here, however, there isn’t a recommended method of contact for customers seeking assistance.

How to Get Support from Wells Fargo

If you need help managing your mortgage during this time, Wells Fargo is offering a 3-month payment suspension. You can request the suspension online by selecting the payment assistance alert in the mortgage section of your account or by calling 800-219-9739.

To request a short term suspension of your Home Equity payments, email Wells Fargo through the secure message center in your online account or call 800-219-9739.

For more information on Wells Fargo’s coronavirus response, click here.

Final Thoughts

There are so many people experiencing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you need help with credit card fees, reducing or deferring monthly payments, or delaying your mortgage payments, many banks and credit card issuers are there to help.

For more information about how coronavirus is affecting travel visit our Coronavirus Hub.


Frequently asked questions

What can I do if I'm unable to pay my credit card bill during the COVID-19 pandemic?

With so many people experiencing financial hardship during this time, many banks and credit card issuers are offering assistance to customers who need it. If you need financial help like fee waivers or payment deferral, check your bank or credit card’s website to see what assistance is being offered. Contact information for major banks and credit card issuers is listed in the post above.

What's the best way to contact my bank or credit card company during this time?

Most companies are requesting that customers contact them online. Phone wait times can be incredibly long these days. Check your bank or credit card’s website to see if they have any preferred methods of contact. Often, you can find a form online to fill out so you can request assistance without having to make a long phone call.

Katie Seemann

About Katie Seemann

Katie is an Ohio native who caught the travel bug after spending a semester in college in Nottingham, England. In addition to exploring England, she visited Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands during that time and loved every minute of it (everything except the hostel in Scotland – that’s an experience she doesn’t intend on repeating!) In 2015, Katie discovered the world of points and miles, and since then she’s earned countless points and has an embarrassingly large number of credit cards in her wallet (which she needs a spreadsheet to keep track of!)

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