Coloradans rank fourth in nation for their amount of debt. Here’s how you can seek relief. |

Coloradans rank fourth in nation for their amount of debt. Here’s how you can seek relief.

Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post

Colorado consumers carry some of the heaviest debt burdens in the country, rivaling those found in expensive states like Hawaii and California. With historic job losses from the pandemic causing incomes to evaporate, that debt now risks becoming an anchor that sinks many households.

“The great unknown is how long this will continue to affect people’s income,” Christina Tetreault, manager of financial policy at Consumer Reports, said during a “Protecting Your Finances” webinar on Monday.

Going into the crisis, about four in 10 U.S. households were already living paycheck to paycheck, Tetreault said. For those who had built emergency reserves, a majority had less than two months’ worth of living expenses available. That’s about how long the pandemic has sidelined economic activity.

The CARES Act includes several provisions that allow borrowers to defer mortgage and student loan payments, and auto lenders and credit card providers are showing a willingness to work with struggling borrowers, according to Consumer Reports.

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Borrowers who can’t stay current on a federally backed mortgage because of COVID-19 disruptions can request a six-month deferral of payments, with another six months available if they still are struggling.

Read more via The Denver Post.

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