KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Treasury Department said the second COVID-19 stimulus check of $600 per person and $1,200 per couple were going out as soon as Tuesday night for some.
FOX4 is working for you with how local financial experts say you should spend it.
A client of KC Credit Services who wanted to remain anonymous says around the time of the first stimulus, early in the pandemic, he was more than $7,000 in credit card debt.
“With 20-plus percent interest on a credit card, at the end of the day once you start making a minimum payment because of lack of income, as everybody well knows, that’s a snowball effect that without making extra payments is not going to get under control,” he said.
The company’s president, Donna Perkins, helped him through it.
She sat down with FOX4 Tuesday night with advice on how families should spend the check.
“To get caught up,” Perkins said. “Most important thing people can do right now, because there’s some real misinformation going around. A lot of people thought they’re not going to have late pays for their mortgages and cars. And they are.”
The Treasury Department says for those with direct deposit, the checks will be in accounts Tuesday night and will continue into next week. Paper checks will be mailed Wednesday.
“The most important thing people can do is not to go out and spend it on new TVs, things like that,” Perkins said. That is to spend it on their debt. Number one things is always your home, your rent, you know, make sure you get those caught up.”
Amy Guerich, a financial planner at Stepp and Rothwell, agrees this is not the time to splurge on a new TV or Playstation 5.
She told us the common mistakes she saw in the first round of government stimulus checks.
“There are a couple things, one, considering it, ‘Oh, it’s a windfall, I wasn’t counting on this money.’ So, I can just go blow it versus getting ahead, and not knowing what to pay off first,” Guerich said. “So high interest credit card debt is the thing that’s costing you the most money likely in your budget.”
Perkins’ client says this time around, the money is going into savings.
“It’s crucial,” he said. “As it sounds, this is probably going to be the last extra payment that you may have coming back, so it’s crucial to use that on something you got behind on or utilize as an emergency fund.”