News from the Reference Desk Category: Economic

Insurance Calculators

ValChoice, an independent data analytics company focused on the U.S. insurance industry, is offering our patrons unlimited access to online calculators, insurance company ratings, tutorials and “how-to” videos, worksheets, and other tools designed to help users understand how insurance—such as car and home insurance—is priced, and how to decide on policies based on their age, deductibles, coverage limits, and other factors.

This Illinois car insurance estimator lets you calculate auto insurance costs customized to your age, location, driving record, vehicle, etc. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Use this Illinois home insurance calculator to estimate home insurance costs based on home replacement value and location. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Educational videos that can guide you on how to use these calculators can be located here.

What to Do when Debt Collectors Call

From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Learning about your rights can help to prevent problems and avoid scams during this stressful time. If you have outstanding debts, you can use the When debt collectors call tool from our Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment toolkit to be prepared to respond to debt collectors.

The tool will help you to:

  • Take action to verify whether the claim is valid
  • Know how to dispute the claim if you do not owe the debt
  • Know what to do next if you do owe the debt

This information can also help you be prepared to avoid scammers who may pose as debt collectors to get you to pay on debts that you don’t owe.

Your credit and the CARES Act

If you made accommodations with your lenders or creditors due to financial hardships related to coronavirus, follow these steps from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to ensure that your credit reports and scores are not negatively impacted. On this page you’ll also find helpful info relating to mortgage relief options, student loans and avoiding scams!

CLICK HERE!

IL Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program begins June 23

From the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO):

DCEO will launch the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July.
In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic and are located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs). Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount, since March and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure. Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020. An emphasis will also be placed on those businesses that are located in areas that have experienced recent property damage due to civil unrest, exacerbating the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Specifically, the program includes support for:

Businesses in DIAs – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each

Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing at least 1,000 grants of up to $20,000 each

Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each

Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each

The application for BIG will be available on Tuesday, June 23–keep checking site for updates.

Protection for Renters During COVID-19

If you are a renter and have questions about your rights, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has some information that may be helpful HERE.

The CARES Act, which was recently passed by Congress, provides certain protections for most tenants in federally subsidized or federally backed housing, including limits on evictions and fees for not being able to make your rent payment.

Some states and local governments have taken action to offer rent relief.

In addition, there are a number of resources and professionals who can help with your housing or financial situation, including nonprofit credit and housing counselors.