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What to do when you need financial help during COVID-19

Suffering from job loss or loss of income? Don't wait to get the help you need. Take action and get help where you can now. 


  • Make a list of your current bills and billing companies—credit cards, utilities, memberships etc. Call each company and ask what new programs they have in place for COVID-19/Coronavirus.
  • If you have a mortgage, call your provider directly and ask them about their mortgage forbearance or deferment program so that you may be released from paying for the next 60-90 days. Make sure you know what their expectation is on when and how you will pay this back. 
  • Call your landlord and ask about a rent break. Explain that your income has been affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Ask if they are offering a rent reduction or deferment for those affected. 
  • Call your auto lender and inform them you have been impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic and would like to inquire about deferring your auto loan for a period of time. Again - be sure to ask how they will expect you to pay those months back.  

Your phone conversations will be something like this:  Hi. I have lost my income because of COVID-19. Are you offering financial assistance or bill deferment regarding the outbreak? I would like to sign up for any special Coronavirus program regarding interest and payments today. Please send me information on how this will impact my overall loan and how and when you will expect me to pay this back. 


1. Food

  • Free Food Resources - Local food pantries and additional links for social services programs
  • SNAP - Previously called food stamps, SNAP helps pay for groceries
  • WIC – For families with children and pregnant women, WIC helps pay for healthy food
  • Food Pantries - Many food pantries are still open and operating

2. Medical Insurance

  • Medicaid - Low income, full coverage health insurance
  • Marketplace - Over income for Medicaid? Check out the health insurance Marketplace

3. Cash Assistance

  • If you have children, are disabled or are a senior you may qualify for cash assistance through the Illinois Department of Human Services. Click above.

4Unemployment benefits

  • If you have lost your job or have had your hours reduced due to COVID-19 apply for unemployment. This program has been expanded to meet the needs of COVID-19 job losses. Click above.

5. Even more $ Saving Resources 

  • Regularly updated list of local resources such as utility bill assistance, legal aid, and medical assitance


If loss of childcare has impacted your ability to get to work and you are an essential job – search THIS database for those still providing childcare 


After you have sorted through the benefits you can receive such as unemployment, or SNAP and have deferred the bills you can, write down all the expenses that you still will owe month to month. Need a little assistance to think through those numbers?  Non-profit financial counselors are available to assist.


Are you healthy and able to work? If you think that you are able, consider applying for a new job. Many essential businesses are hiring to meet the needs of the community. Check with your local grocery stores and search for jobs close to home. Online work from home jobs are still available too. Need to search online? is a good starting point. But you will also find job searching resources at Illinois Job Link


Get your finances in order and make sure to stay home as often as possible. Follow the guidelines from the CDC on how to prevent COVID-19.  

Here are a few other Resources to help you save money. 

Check out these resources we trust to get local accurate information about COVID-19 and additional help available in our community.