Transcript for A new month in COVID-19 crisis brings fresh anxiety, fear over how to pay bills, rent
Tonight, the president predicting a painful two weeks, saying as many as 245,000 people could die even with social distancing. Now then during financial crisis. Even before this pandemic started, life for amber was precarious. We get food stamps. Now with me looking for work it's ten times harder. The single mom from Orlando fearing any small thing could put her ever the edge. That takes my bill down to under 200. She like some Americans finds herself on the brink, a thin line between making ends meet and financial ruin. With president trump now extending federal social distancing guidelines until April 30th, the financial hardships will be compounded. An ABC news/washington poll shows 50% have experienced a cut in pay. The fear over how to meet financial obligations palpable. How am I going to make rent? Student loans? I have other medical bills I'm still trying to pay off. It's completely unsettling. You start to ask yourself, am I going to be able to buy food? And all we can do at this point is hope and pray that financially that we will be able to stay afloat. The question for so many, how long can they hold on? He always had big dreams, but as an immigrant, restaurant work was all he could usually get. His dream came true when he opened pirate's bone burgers in Kansas City, Missouri. We were selling almost 100,000 within the first three months. You had finally turned a corner and were looking at profits? Yeah. Or at least the prospect of profits? The prospect of profits, yeah. It seemed like a possibility for sure. When covid hit, that exciting prospect wiped off the table. What went through your mind when it really dawned on you that you'd have to shut your It was a sad day. It was either we close down the doors early before everyone told us to close down in order to keep people safe, keep my employees safe, myself safe, and the rest of the small money that we have in the bank account. Do you think your business will survive? I hope so. I don't think we have enough in the bank to really hold us over for too, too long. We were just starting up. So everything went back into it. As a DACA recipient, he can't file for unemployment. I spoke to my car loan company and said that my payments will be paused but my interest would not be paused. As great as it is pausing my payments, my interest is going to go through the roof, which it already was, being undocumented, I have no credit. I'm sorry if it's too personal, but how much money do you have left in the bank? $70 in my bank account and I grabbed all the tips that I hadn't put in the bank. I have just a couple hundred I need to put back in there. He says he's still facing a pile of other bills. I have a delinquent bill for water which they're not going to cut off, the electric company said they wouldn't cut it off. There are some avenues for help. Some states have banned evictions during the crisis. Five companies have offered relief or options for borrowers hit hard by covid-19. Federal student loan payments can be suspended for six months without penalty. And phone companies like Verizon, XFINITY and AT&T offerin 60 days of non-termination. Food pantries across the country flooded. At one Pittsburgh food bank, a line of cars stretching down the highway waiting to get in. Still, the need is overwhelming. How will I survive? Well, I'm going to tap into my savings, because unemployment has been a nightmare thus far. More than 3 million Americans filed for unemployment during the week, ending March 21st. Getting an unemployment check is not always simple or quick, even in the best of times. I really need the income as soon as possible. Pearla applied as soon as she lost her job as an event planner. Filing for unemployment is not a very easy process. It's not very intuitive. These people say they finally got through to New York's system. Que used two different computers at once trying to access the website. We spent about five days trying. Because we were just calling on repeat. We did the Spanish version, and that's version we had the luck Last week, congress passed a whopping $2 trillion stimulus bill. But, in Orlando, amber Robberson will have to go it alone. I have negative $135. And I'm not getting a stimulus check. That's not going to help any. She's been looking for work for two years and hasn't filed taxes. She went to prison when she was 18 for non-violent crimes and covid-19 she suspects has slashed any employment prospects she had. You lost your job because of covid-19. Go ahead, you'll get hired before this lady who's been looking for two years. Her daughter Calin goes to a magnet school for the performing arts. For both of them, education represents opportunities amber didn't have. Lord knows I don't want her going through what I am going through now. I know she won't be going to jail or anything crazy like I she wants to be a star. When schools shut their doors she knew she had to get wi-fi. So she and her neighbors banded together for wi-fi so all the kids could learn. I got the wi-fi fixed. So I can. Yeah, you're going to school here. Knowing she can still make her daughter smile is a small relief. Just got to let it roll off your shoulders. She focuses, instead, on gratitude, thankful for the new women in her tribe, like Dorothy miracle. We wouldn't get through this at all. And for thins like free lunch. Thank you guys so much. Thank you. And this. A gift from someone she's never met, listed on a give away app. For some, an old trampoline, but for her, a god send. Thank you to anybody on offer up or wherever giving out stuff for free, because people like us, we need it. And earlier, I spoke with personal finance guru and popular radio host Dave ramsay. Thanks for joining us. I'm honored. Thank you for having me. These are unprecedented times and people are facing serious health threats with economic threats. What do you say when people call you and say Dave, I'm worried. I think you'd be weird if you weren't a little worried right now, concerned. What we're telling folks is don't go past the word concerned into panic. People don't make good decisions when they're panicked. For those unemployed, rent is coming due, people have to make tough choices. How do you prioritize which bills to pay and which to ig senator ignore. If you are in that situation where the facts say you did lose your job we tell you you have to prioritize. Protect the four walls of your you buy food, shelter, clothing, transportation and utilities. And you may not need to buy anything else right now. You're famous for telling people you should have an emergency fund. When is it time to dip into savings? Get $1,000 as a beginner emergency fund, but a good emergency fund is three to six months of expenses. If you've got that, that puts you in a much better shape right now. But, again, you don't touch that just because you're scared. You touch it because you literally ran out of money, because your job is gone. And what if you're already in debt? If you're going to call your mortgage bank or credit card bank, how do you ask for debt relief? In most cases they have some kind of coronavirus program. Stuff like credit cards, you just don't pay them right now even if it Dings you up a little bit if you're out of work or broke. For those who are just worried, they need to keep doing their financial plan. Don't stop doing it. What's the most common question you've been getting? The most common question is that folks' concern has shifted from the virus to the cure. The cure is now Killin' folks. Not necessarily literally, but it's destroying their lives and destroying their dreams, and so the sooner that America can get back to work safely and the sooner we can get past this fear-based management of everything, this panic management, that's what folks are yearning for that I talk to every day. Thanks for sharing your wisdom today, Dave ramsay. Honor to be with you. And up next, the nation's
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