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Maximize Your Coronavirus Stimulus and Tax Refund Checks

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Summary

  • If you can pause payment on any bills, that will free up more money for groceries, medications and essential household items.
  • Put aside some money for emergencies.
  • Consider supporting local businesses and restaurants that are only open for delivery and takeout.

The latest on the Coronavirus stimulus checks and tax refunds

The stimulus checks and how much you receive will depend on your income. If you’re single, you could receive up to $1,200. Married couples could receive up to $2,400, and up to $500 for every child under 17. If you’re single, your adjusted annual gross income needs to be under $75,000, capping out at $99,000 to qualify. If you file jointly, total adjusted gross income needs to be under $150,000, phasing out at $198,000 to qualify. Most people are expected to receive their checks by mid-April.

Although filing your taxes is not due until July 15th due to the Coronavirus, if you will be getting a refund check, you may want to file your taxes before that date in order to receive your refund check earlier.

What is the best way to use your stimulus and/or your refund check? 

First, determine if you can pause or change the payment dates for certain payments such as your mortgage/rent, credit cards, utilities, cell phone, cable, student loans, etc. by contacting your bank, landlord, cell phone company, etc. Many are offering flexible payments during this time, but you must contact them first to arrange an agreement. If you skip payments without an agreement in place, it can have a negative impact on your credit score. 

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Rather than applying this money towards bills that you can temporarily pause payment on, you can maximize these checks to best support your daily life. Depending on your financial situation, below are some recommendations:

  • Groceries: Consider non-perishables as much as possible in case you need to   self-quarantine at some point.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Refill prescriptions and/or purchase OTC (over-the-counter) products.
  • Support local business by purchasing gift cards: Part of the goal of the stimulus checks is to inject some of it back into your local economy, so within your means, you could also use the funds to support local businesses.
  • Ordering takeout or delivery: Many restaurants are only open for delivery or takeout. You can help them stay in business and at the same time practice social distancing by ordering in.
  • Set some aside for emergency expenses in case anything unexpected happens.
  • Pay off small amounts of credit card debt to free up some of your credit line for emergencies.

In the meantime, Credit Sesame can be a free valuable resource to help you monitor your finances during these uncertain times.

Please let us know if you have any other tips or resources to include in the comments below. And most importantly, please stay safe and healthy.

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Disclaimer: You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. This blog article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as financial advice. Although reasonable efforts have been made, we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented.

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Published March 30, 2020
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Comments(43)

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Lilia Ramirez•  March 31, 2020 Edit
I'm a single mom and live on a Disability check can't make ends meet and I wanted to know where I can get financial help
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Credit Sesame•  April 1, 2020 Edit
Hi Lilia. Please check out this post, as it links to many resources. I hope you will find them helpful. https://www.creditsesame.com/blog/updates/manage-finances-covid-19/ Wishing you nothing but the best.
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Ericka bolen•  April 4, 2020 Edit
My fiancé does odd jobs. Self employment, works on oil wells and farm work. But we are have money problems. How can we find out if we’re getting a stimulus check. Or know any other kinda help.
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Ericka. Here is the link to the IRS page that outlines the details. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
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Keith wood•  April 4, 2020 Edit
When will they be issued
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Keith. The latest news is that they will start issuing money on April 9; however, how soon you get your money depends on a lot of factors. If the government has a bank account on file for you, you will wire you the money much fast than if they need to mail a check.You can get all of the details here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
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Leon Irwin•  April 4, 2020 Edit
Thanks
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Robert Becerra•  April 5, 2020 Edit
I need food , money too eat . A job . Please help
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Robert. We hope this check will give you the assistance you need. Meanwhile, please take a look at some of our other posts regarding getting help during this very trying time: https://www.creditsesame.com/blog/updates/manage-finances-covid-19/
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Chankan•  April 5, 2020 Edit
I have file my 2019 returns and I have to dependents that I file and they are over the age of 17 will I get funds for them also one them is a college student and the youngest is 18 and she doesn’t work or go to school due to her Being ADHD and ADD so will I receive anything for them just asking...
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Chankan. Please check out the IRS website for details. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
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CYNTHIA J BAILEY•  April 5, 2020 Edit
I haven't filed since 2017. I retired for health reasons. I live on my husband's SSI heck. That's not much. Barely enough to survive. Do I qualify? I have sa savings account with $5.00. I keep that for the life insurance of $2000.00 dollars. How can I get a stimulus check?
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Cynthia. Please check out the IRS website for details. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
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Yvonne Jones•  April 5, 2020 Edit
I receive disability payments and stayed with my sister for 11 month until I could afford housing and she claimed me as a other dependant will I get a stimulus check also?
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Yvonne. Please check out the IRS website for details. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
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Mary Hernandez•  April 6, 2020 Edit
What if I claim 3 depends but one of them is 21
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Mary. Here is the information on the checks, direct from the IRS. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
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Tambi Masom•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Myself and my family are suffering from the corona vitus pandemic
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Tambi. We are deeply sorry to hear that you and your family are suffering. We truly hope things will turn around for you quickly.
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Rachel Gaxiola•  April 6, 2020 Edit
I filed my taxes at H & R block and received my return on the Emerald card they provide will my stimulus check go onto that visa debit card?
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Rachel. Here is the information on the checks, direct from the IRS. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
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Tina•  April 6, 2020 Edit
How soon do we get these stimulus check in texas
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Credit Sesame•  April 6, 2020 Edit
Hi Tina. The release dates are the same across the country; however, when you get your check depends on if the government can do it via direct deposit or if it needs to send you a check. Here is the latest info, direct from the IRS: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
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Cecilia reames•  April 6, 2020 Edit
How can I get the stimulus payment if I did not get to file taxes this year
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Credit Sesame•  April 8, 2020 Edit
Hello. This government site should help you find the specific information that applies to your situation: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center
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Rentas•  April 20, 2020 Edit
hi I dont have a job no bank account live with my mom how do i get stimulus che
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Credit Sesame•  April 22, 2020 Edit
Hi Rentas. Provided that you qualify, your check will be mailed to you. You might also want to check out Sesame Cash. We recently launched this zero-fee digital bank account and debit card that helps you manage your cash and grow your credit—all within the Credit Sesame app. You can find more details by joining the waitlist at SesameCash.com or by downloading our free app. We wish you the best.
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Betty•  April 20, 2020 Edit
When will they start sending out stimulet checks for SSI and SSDI
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Credit Sesame•  April 20, 2020 Edit
Hi. You can check your status here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment
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Marcia D McLamb•  April 21, 2020 Edit
It says I qualify for stimulus check, why didn’t I get one? Taxes filed direct deposit always.Single mom self employed cleaning services. Income under 10,000 gross yearly. It of work for 4 Weeks no help broke -11.00 in banking account. . No stimulus check deposited. Help me understand why when I qualify n had all that I needed for it to be direct deposited.
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Credit Sesame•  April 22, 2020 Edit
Hi Marcia. You can check your status here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment The IRS has already started sending electronic payments to those who have both already filed for 2018 and/or 2019 AND have already provided their bank information. Once those are complete, the IRS plans to proceed with paper checks. The IRS has stated that some people will likely not see their checks until September. To report your bank information to the IRS, visit https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd/EconomicImpactPayment
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Linda Penwell•  April 28, 2020 Edit
Where is my Stimulus check?
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Credit Sesame•  April 28, 2020 Edit
Hi Linda. You can check your status here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment The IRS has already started sending electronic payments to those who have already provided their banking information. After that, they plan to proceed with paper checks. The IRS has stated that some people might not see their checks until September. To report your bank information to the IRS, visit https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd/EconomicImpactPayment
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Neil j Hunt•  May 19, 2020 Edit
If i don't work an have never filed before can i get stimulus check
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Credit Sesame•  May 28, 2020 Edit
Hi Neil. Have you tried checking the IRS's payment portal? They might have the information you are looking for.
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Sharon Allen•  May 20, 2020 Edit
Yes I get death benefits when will I get mine check
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Credit Sesame•  May 28, 2020 Edit
Hi Sharon. Have you tried checking the IRS's payment portal? They might have the information you are looking for.
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Randall•  May 21, 2020 Edit
Thank you
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Teresa L Trahan•  May 22, 2020 Edit
I keep getting calls on a outstanding school loan but I have never had a student/school loan before in my life n I am 54 years of age I have bad enough credit without this affecting me please help
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Credit Sesame•  May 29, 2020 Edit
Hi Teresa. That sounds frustrating, but please check out this article on how to reach the credit bureaus. It should give you all of the information you need.
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BONNIE ROUNDS•  May 24, 2020 Edit
I AM A MARRIAGE PERSON AND WHEN IT CAME TO THE STIMULUS CHECK I KNOW THAT I WAS TO GET $2,400.00 SEEING THAT I AM MARRAGED BUT I ONLY GOT $1,200.00 AND I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FINE OUT HOW COME I DIDN'T GET ANYTHING FOR MY HUSBAND BUT I HAD NO LUCK AT ALL.
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Credit Sesame•  May 28, 2020 Edit
Hi Bonnie. Have you tried checking the IRS's payment portal? They might have the information you are looking for.
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edna E kueppers•  May 29, 2020 Edit
I’m disabled and I’m now loosing my home because I can’t get a job
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