Better Business Bureau shares tips on managing debt during nation-wide crisis

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MILWAUKEE — The Better Business Bureau is sharing tip son how to manage your finances and debt obligations during a crisis.

The recently passed CARES Act requires lenders to report to credit bureaus that borrowers are in good standing if the borrower has asked for relief because of the pandemic, according to a news release. Some groups have taken deliberate steps to offer borrowers forbearance, loan extensions and interest rate reductions, among other things.

The BBB said that anyone who may be struggling to repay a loan should reach out to the lender to discuss what options are available.

According to the BBB, borrowers should be sure to get written documentation of arrangements made with lenders during the crisis. Consumers should also be sure to check their credit report to make sure the repayment efforts are accurately reported, the BBB said.

Debt collection scams are very common, so the BBB is also recommending that consumers ask for more information if they get a call from a caller they suspect might be trying to scam them. Consumers should ask for the callers name, company, street address and telephone number, according to the BBB. The BBB said legitimate debt collectors should have details on the accounts they are calling about.

Anytime consumers suspect they are being targeted they should report it to the BBB Scam Tracker, according to the release.

Finally, consumers should report unfair interactions with debt collectors. Complaints can be filed at The Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Finanacial Protection Bureau and state attorneys general all have ways to file complaints against collection agencies, the BBB said.