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Trouble paying bills? Ask for lower payments or later due dates. (And get it in writing.) Learn more at #FinancialLiteracyMonth

COVID-19 has thrown the economy into a tailspin. As people have been laid off, furloughed, or are working fewer hours, bills can pile up. This week, for Financial Literacy Month, we’re looking at ways to manage — and today, it’s all about dealing with debt. Here are some ideas to start regaining your financial footing when you have more month than money.

  • Gather your bills: Consider creating a budget so you get a picture of where your money comes from — and goes.
  • Ask for help: If you’re behind on payments, contact the companies and try to work out a new payment plan. Ask for lower payments or delayed due dates, and get changes in writing. Also, check for pandemic assistance programs.
  • Watch out for scams: In stressful times, scammers follow the headlines. Any company that guarantees they can get your creditors to forgive your debts, or that makes you pay up front for help, is probably scamming you. If you’re looking for debt relief, look for help you can trust.

If you come across debt relief scams like these, we want to hear about it. Tell the FTC at

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

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In The Know Do…
April 06, 2021
I appreciate very much the information shared, it is become for me a very valuable tool to recognize scams and I share with family and friends to help keep us "In The Know!" Thank you Consumer for all your efforts and work!
April 06, 2021
I appreciate all the information not because it is interesting but because it is timely and very relevant . Thank you
John Duo
April 06, 2021
The local government has programs but they don't follow.
April 06, 2021
Everyday without exception I receive calls that are nothing but scams. Someone says you owe money and are in trouble with the authorities or your bank account has been compromised. It never seems to end, i never answer the phone but messages are always left on my answering machine. These calls are annoying. Thank you for alerting the public. i am highly appreciative of your work.
April 06, 2021
What a relief to get this valuable information Covid has brought out the scammers, and dark-web hackers in full force. But these strategy to paying debit is very useful.