Financial Support During COVID-19
Quick financial tips
- Look for flexible payment options: credit card companies, utility companies, mortgage lenders and landlords are all working on ways to provide temporary relief. Reach out to them!
- Review your subscriptions and services: what services are essential to you now? Can you renegotiate your coverage, or suspend or cancel services that you don’t need?
- Review your automated payments for options to reduce or temporarily postpone.
- Consider whether you are financially able to save through your voluntary programs. Continuing to invest while the market is low can bring great gains, however if you are having trouble paying your bills right now and facing debt, extra savings may not be the best use of your money.
- Determine whether you can stay invested: if you sell an investment after the market has declined you will ‘lock in’ that loss and are at risk of missing the increase when the market rebounds. Before you sell, determine whether your goals have changed, consider when you’ll need the money from your investments and whether you’ll need it all at once, or a little bit over time.
- Watch out! A delay in payment is only temporary. You will need to honour your debts, including any taxes owed on income, including government benefits. Consider this as part of your plan.
Do you need help evaluating these options? Check out the free and reputable resources below.
Employee and Family Assistance Plan (through Morneau Shepell)
EFAP is not only counselling services! EFAP offers work-life services by relevant professionals. This includes guidance and resources through an online program and telephone consultation. If you are having trouble managing your debts or are looking for financial planning support, please reach out: www.workhealthlife.com (Register- Western University is your employer) and select ‘Get started online’ or call 1-844-880-9137. Topics include: Debt and Credit, Mortgages, Taxes, Divorce, Retirement, Estate, Bankruptcy.
Credit Counselling Society
The Credit Counselling Society is a registered, non-profit service for consumers. Sun Life Financial has partnered with them to assist Western Pension Plan members.
- Credit counselling - You have access to one-on-one financial counselling with an accredited financial counsellor. The appointments are free, confidential and have no impact on your credit report. Credit counselling through the Society is always free.
- Debt management - helps you consolidate debts into one monthly payment that you can afford. It can help you become debt-free in a reasonable amount of time – without permanently impacting your credit or record.
- Until June 30, Sun Life is covering the cost of usual $25 setup fee for debt management.
- The Credit Counselling Society is waiving their monthly fees until the end of June
Many people are facing financial hardship or stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the challenge of paying down and managing debt. If these are challenging times for you financially, you may wish to access these services available to you as a Sun Life plan member through the Credit Councelling Society.
We encourage you to act quickly to prevent debt issues from worsening.
You can contact the Credit Counselling Society via phone at 1-888-527-8999 to get started right away or visit the Credit Counselling Society's website for more information.
- Financial Wellness Webinars from Sun Life Financial - includes new seminars - Planning for Emergency Reduced Income, Making Cents of Money: Budgeting 101 and Balancing your Finances: Understanding Credit and Debt, Investing- The Essentials.
- Remember, Western offers workshops throughout the year that may be helpful to you.
- Sun Life assistance is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on business days to help you with your pension.
- If you are wondering about your pension during market turmoil, please visit our webpage Investing During Market Turmoil.
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