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Financial Literacy

What to Do With Your Stimulus Check

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We’ve been working hard out in the community doing what we can to provide businesses and individuals some relief in this trying time. We’ve already seen the impact that COVID-19 has had on our communities but we are optimistic about our resiliency. It’s our responsibility to make sure you’re equipped with the information you need to make it through this period of uncertainty. Learn more about the Economic Impact Payments and how you can put them to good use.

Learn more about the Economic Impact Payments and how you can put them to good use.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the COVID-19 Stimulus Package

How much money will my check be? According to, the U.S. Treasury will disburse up to $1,200 per adult for individuals making $75,000 or less and $500 per child under the age of 17. For any $100 above the $75,000 threshold will reduce the amount by $5.

When will my check arrive? The Treasury reports that individuals could see direct deposit as early as April 9. Many Americans have begun to report their direct deposits arriving.

What do I do if I do not have direct deposit set up with the IRS? You can submit your banking information to get a direct deposit here.

How do I know if I qualify? If you are a taxpayer who filed in 2019 or 2018, you automatically qualify. Non-resident aliens, individuals without a Social Security number or Taxpayer Identification number, and some dependents do not qualify.

How will I get my payment? Most people will not need to take action to receive their payment. The IRS will use the account information used when filing taxes to send via direct deposit. If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information you will be able to submit your information online through a web-based portal.

If I am receiving a paper check, when will it arrive? You can track your stimulus check on the IRS website.

Read more frequently asked questions on

Please note that the arrival of stimulus payments are dependent on the IRS’s payment schedule. Highlands Community Bank is not able to provide arrival estimates.

When You’ve Lost Income

If you’ve lost your job due to COVID-19, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Once you recover from the initial shock of your situation, there are a few steps you should take to prepare.

1. Review your budget. Take stock of all of your monthly payments and debts. If you don’t already have a budget drafted, you’ll want to make sure you have a full view of your finances before you seek out assistance and decide where your stimulus check will be best spent.

Not sure how to budget? Here are 3 proven techniques!

2. Take advantage of any relief programs. Once you have an idea of your current standing, you can begin reaching out to utility companies and creditors. Whether you need to pause your subscriptions or defer your loan payments, many organizations are set up to help you in your time of need. In addition, apply for unemployment if you qualify.

See how Highlands Community Bank can provide you with financial relief.

3. Make a budget for your stimulus check. Now that you have eliminated some of your short term financial obligations, you’ll have a better picture of where your stimulus money should go. Focus on non-negotiable, basic needs like housing and food. By making sure your basic needs are met, you should feel a sense of relief.

4. Consider additional credit options. For many, even payment deferrals and stimulus checks won’t solve all of your problems. If that’s the case, you may need to consider borrowing additional funds for short term relief. As long as you have limitations in place about what you will use it for and how it will get repaid, a personal loan could be another option.

When You Have Maintained Steady Income

Some individuals have been lucky enough to maintain their employment status and steady paycheck. For those who will be able to use the stimulus as a “bonus”, now is a great time to build financial resilience.

1. Get ahead on debt repayment. Even if you’ve been able to maintain your income, most people accrued have some amount of debt they owe anyway. Consider getting ahead on your monthly payments or paying down a credit card with a low balance.

2. Build your emergency savings. If there was ever an example of why you should build an emergency fund, it’s the current state of the world. While you may feel secure right now, it is clear that your stability could change at any moment. Deposit your stimulus check into a high-yield savings account or money market so that you can continue to build your emergency fund.

3. Consider helping others. If you’re employed, are in good standing with your debts, and already have a healthy emergency fund, consider yourself lucky. Use your check as a true economic stimulus by spending your money locally or donating to charities or loved ones in need.

4. Shop Small, Help Big. Your community is banking on you. The economic stimulus package was also created to provide funds for individuals to put back into the economy through local businesses. The Alleghany Chamber of Commerce is keeping an up to date list of how local businesses continue to provide products and services in your community here.

We’re Here to Help

While we may have answered some of your questions, we understand that many answers likely spark more. Our people and our focus are rooted in the Highlands. We’ll always only be a phone call away.

Contact Us if You Have Questions.

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