Financial Empowerment Resources

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COVID-19 Financial Resources

Loss of Employment
Economic Impact Payment/ Stimulus Checks
Assistance with Bills & Loans
  • General Bills/ Loans: If you are anticipating having trouble paying bills or loans on time then reach out early to lenders and creditors

    • RG&E: suspended late fees, deposits for new accounts, and disconnections for non-payment

    • Spectrum: waived late fees and will not terminate service for 60 days

  • Credit Cards: Many major credit card companies have put new procedures in place to assist those who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact your provider and see what procedures they have put in place to assist you.​

  • Student Loans: If you are unable to make payments on your student loans then you may qualify for a delayed or reduced payment program:​

    • New York State is temporarily halting collection of student loan and medical debt referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection until June 16, 2020. This applies to people who have debt owed to the state, such as to SUNY campuses.

      • Interest will not accrue and fees won’t be collected while the collection of debt is suspended

      • The Attorney General’s Office will also accept applications for a suspension of all other types of debt owed to the state. The application can be found at: ag.ny.gov/covid-19-debt-suspension-applicationor call 1-800-771-7755

    • Federal student loan payments suspended through September 30, 2020 and interest will not accrue during this time. Click here for more information.

    • For private student loans, call your loan servicer to ask about relief options if you are experiencing financial hardship. In NY, you can expect payments to be deferred for

  • Home Mortgage: All New York State regulated financial institutions are required to provide 90-day mortgage forbearance for individuals experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact your loan provider for more information on how to apply for forbearance.

    • If you have been denied forbearance, and believe your application was wrongly denied you may file a complaint with the New York State Department of Financial Services at 1-800-342-3736 or http://dfs.ny.gov

  • Rent: 

    • Residents of the Rochester Housing Authority (RHA)-owned public housing and are participating in Section 8 programs whose income has been affected by Coronavirus/COVID-19 may apply to have their rent payments temporarily reduced by up to 100 percent.

    • NEW!​ Eviction and Homelessness Prevention Programs being offered by the City of Rochester:

      • Eviction and Homelessness Prevention:

        • Rental assistance is available through Catholic Family Center thanks to the support of the City of Rochester, Mayor Lovely Warren and City Council. To qualify you must meet the requirements listed below:

          • You are a renter;

          • You have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic;

          • You are in immediate danger of eviction, homelessness, loss of housing, or utility shut off; and,

          • You have household income at or below:

            • Persons in Household - Maximum Income:

              • 1 - 42,800;

              • 2 - 48,900;

              • 3 - 55,000;

              • 4 - 61,100;

              • 5 - 66,000;

              • 6 - 70,900;

              • 7 - 75,800;

              • 8 - 80,700.

          • To learn more, see the press release here or contact the Call Catholic Family Center’s Rent Assistance call center at 585.232.2050.

      • Legal Assistance:

        • The “Right to Counsel” pilot program will provide free legal assistance to all renters facing evictions proceedings in the courts, as well as a telephone hotline providing free legal counsel for eviction-related questions. To learn more, contact Volunteer Legal Services Project at 585.232.3051 or vlsprochester.org/apply-online.

      • Landlord Reimbursement Grant Program:

        • The City is also seeking landlords interested in applying for grants to make minor repairs to vacant rental units so the units can be added to the city’s inventory of affordable housing units as quickly as possible. The City has set aside $300,000 for the program and expects to support about 150 units.

        • Applications for the grant can be found at: cityofrochester.gov/HomeRepairGrants

Assistance Filing Taxes
  • The NYS tax filing deadline and IRS Federal tax filing deadlines have been pushed to July 15, 2020. All taxes owed to NYS and the IRS will need to be paid by this date as well.  

Consumer Protection from Fraud
Small Business Resources
  • Small Business Grants

  • Small Business Coaching & Technical Support

    • The City of Rochester Mayor's Office of Community Wealth Building offers free one-on-one professional business coaching and technical assistance for small business owners or individuals who would like to start their own small business. For more information email: WealthBuilding@CityofRochester.gov

  • Information from New York State for Business Owners

Additional Resources
 
 

Financial Empowerment Resources

Employment Support
Buying a Home
Small Business Start-up Services
Financial Institutions

Personal Loans

Safe & Affordable Checking Accounts*

*"Safe & Affordable" accounts have been identified based on BankOn Account Standards

Consumer Protection
Additional Resources
 
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