Financial Education Blog

How to use your Economic Impact Payment Wisely

On March 27, 2020, Congress and the White House passed a historic $2 trillion economic stimulus package to help American workers and businesses get through the COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of that money is being sent directly to individuals and families. Here’s what you can expect to receive, along with tips on the best way to use your economic impact payment.
 
How much can I expect to receive?
 Economic impact payments are being issued based on need, both by income and the size of your household.
 
Household Annual Income Size of Stimulus Check
Individual Up to $75,000 $1,200
Individual Up to $99,000 Less than $1,200
Married Couple Up to $150,000 $2,400
Married Couple Up to $198,000 Less than $2,400
Head of Household Up to $112,500 $1,200
Head of Household Up to $136,500 Less than $1,200
Each child in the household, under the age of 17   $500
 
How will I receive my economic impact payment?
The government is using exiting agencies and payment channels to make distributing the money as easy as possible. If you file an annual federal income tax return, you will receive your payment the same way you receive your tax refund. The IRS will distribute the funds to the account or address that they have on file. If you have not yet filed your 2019 returns, they’ll use the information from your 2018 returns.
To ensure that you receive your payment as soon as possible, we recommend that you visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.
 
If you receive Social Security or SSI payments through the Social Security Administration, you may not file taxes. In this case, your economic impact payment will be delivered the same way your Social Security payments arrive.

When will I get my money?
The Treasury Department started to distribute the payments on Thursday, April 9. Individuals who had already provided their bank account information to the IRS, as well as Social Security beneficiaries who filed a federal income tax with direct deposit information, will be among the first to get their payment. The next phase of payments will be made no later than week of April 20. A third and final round of payments will be paid through checks and will be mailed at a date not yet determined.  However, experts warn that everyone should expect delays, and that some people may not receive their payments until May or even August.

What’s the best way to use my money?
While everyone’s financial situation is different, there are several ways that experts recommend using your economic impact payment:
  1. Use it to buy essentials. Whether its groceries or something crucial, if your household needs it to survive, it’s a wise use of your money.
  2. Save it until you need it or the pandemic is over. If you plan to save it, put it in your savings account to ensure it doesn’t get spent until necessary.
  3. Don’t assume your income will remain stable. If you’re working from home or don’t foresee any changes to your employment situation, you may feel comfortable using the money for other purposes. With such uncertain times, it’s best to plan for a worst-case scenario and save your payment in case you have an income change you didn’t anticipate.
  4. Once the pandemic is over, pay off any virus related credit card debt. Many Americans are being forced to use credit cards to cover necessities right now. When the effects of the pandemic lessen, paying off those charges would be a good use of your payment.
If you have questions about your budget or debt during this difficult time, KOFE can help. Visit www. 717cu.kofetime.com/financial-tips-for-a-pandemic/ to learn more. 7 17 has partnered with KOFE (Knowledge of Financial Education) to provide free financial education tools to help support members’ long-term financial health. Resources include publications, videos and more. Plus, you have free access to financial coaches, seven days a week!