Your next stimulus check is just weeks away – will you get the full $1,400?
The planned third round of coronavirus stimulus checks is moving through Congress at lightning speed compared to the draaaaaaaaaaaaaag-out second batch.
Lawmakers balked at the final out-of-pocket aid payments in the spring, summer, and fall of 2020. And when the money finally arrived before New Years, all you got was a measly stimulus check (to borrow former President Donald Trump’s description). ) $600 – half of the $1,200 distributed the very first time.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (pictured) is optimistic about receiving new $1,400 stimulus checks soon, and more progress is expected this week. Here’s an update on the timing and your chance to get the full amount.
Stimulus checks go fast
To accelerate President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package, including the next stimulus package, the Democrats who control Congress are using a streamlined process that could allow passage by simple majorities — meaning no Republican support.
Republicans say the president’s bill is too expensive. Hoping to win over some members of the opposing party, Democrats reportedly considered: targeting the new direct payments to those with the lowest incomes who need it most.
Last spring’s first stimulus, $1,200, was spent largely on essential needs, including food and rent, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some of the money was also used to invest, a desk survey found, or was spent on other, unspecified things — possibly including: affordable life insurance. The demand for life insurance has soared as a result of COVID.
As part of the targeting, media reports had said the third stimulus checks could disappear for individuals earning more than $50,000, up from $75,000 for the earlier checks. But a relief bill unveiled Monday by House Democrats keeps the same income limits — meaning if you got a full payment last time, you’ll get another one.
When are you most likely to see another stimulus check?
Meanwhile, families can get more money this time around. The last payments did not include students and other dependents over the age of 16; Biden wants to solve that in the new round.
More than two-thirds of Americans (68%) support Biden’s pandemic package, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. Congressional leaders have become more optimistic about delivering it soon after a budget move to speed up the process was passed by the House and Senate last week.
Speaker Pelosi released a statement Friday saying the hope is to complete work on Biden’s COVID plan “by the end of February” — a timeline that could give you another stimulus check. beginning of March.
That’s an improvement on an earlier comment by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, indicating Congress could take until mid-March for the next stimulus checks to pass. In that scenario, you wouldn’t get any money in your pocket until… end of March, and maybe not before April.
What if you need another stimulus check right away?
If COVID is plaguing your budget and you need extra money straight awayHere are a few ways to keep yourself financially afloat until the next stimulus check comes.
Lower the cost of your debt. If you’ve used credit cards more than usual during the current crisis, you’re likely piling up expensive interest. Control your credit card debt – and make it disappear faster – by keeping your balance on one, consolidation loan for debt with lower interest.
Shave your insurance bills. Because many of us are driving less during the pandemic, auto insurance companies have been offering price cuts. But if your auto insurer is stingy, look around for a better policy. Plus, you can save hundreds on homeowners insurance by comparing rates with find a lower price on that cover.
Refinance your mortgage and cut your payments. Mortgage rates are lower than ever, so refinance your existing home loan could lead to significant savings. Mortgage tech and data provider Black Knight says 19.4 million US homeowners have the potential to cut their housing payments by an average $308 per month through a refi.
What if you miss a stimulus check this time?
If you’re looking forward to a $1,400 payment but risk receiving a lower amount or no money at all under new income restrictions, here are a few things you can do:
Get your 2020 tax return fast. Log in to a good tax software program and begin working on your 2020 return so that you are ready to file it when the IRS begins accepting returns on February 12. Your eligibility for a stimulus check is based on your most recent tax return, so if your income was pinched by the 2020 pandemic, you may have a better chance of getting a $1,400 payment.
Find savings to make ‘your own’ stimulus control. Look for creative ways to save, to squeeze $1,400 out of your budget. For example, cancel streaming services and other monthly subscriptions you don’t use. Turn a hobby or your special skills and talents into an afterthought to generate additional income. And download a free browser add-on that automatically hunts for better prices and coupons when you shop online.