Last week, millions of Americans received stimulus checks in their bank accounts. Still haven’t gotten yours, but are sure that you qualify?
Here’s how to speed up the process:
If you filed your return for 2019:
- You will receive your stimulus check in the same account that your refund was delivered if you chose direct deposit.
- If you didn’t get a refund or requested a paper check when you filed taxes, enter your MoneyLion Checking account info into the “Get My Payment” tool, and the IRS will deposit your funds electronically.
If you haven’t yet filed for 2019:
- Option 1: The IRS will send your stimulus check to the direct deposit account they have on file from your 2018 return. If they do not have your banking information because you opted for a paper check or owed, you will receive a check in the mail. You can speed up the process by using the “Get My Payment” tool found on the website to enter your MoneyLion Checking routing and account number.
- Option 2: File your 2019 return promptly. If you receive a refund and opted for direct deposit, the IRS will use your banking information to send the funds if they haven’t already done so.
If you’re not required to file a tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019 or 2018:
- Use the non-filer tool to submit your banking information. You should also use this tool if you don’t file and have qualifying children who are at 16 years of age or younger.
If you receive disability, railroad retirement, survivor or Social Security benefits:
- No action is required from you. The IRS will automatically deposit your stimulus check in the account where you receive monthly benefit payments.
Expedite the process of submitting your banking information to the IRS by having your banking information, driver’s license or state-issued ID number, Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (if applicable) and Social Security number for your dependents handy.
Smart Ways to Use Your Stimulus Check
Whether the stimulus check has already hit your account or is en route, it’s never too soon to start brainstorming ways to put the funds to good use. A few viable suggestions:
Stash your cash.
With so much uncertainty lingering, it’s not a bad idea to tuck your stimulus check proceeds away for a rainy day. Find a savings account with a decent rate of return or, better yet, use your stimulus check to start investing and building wealth. Consider managed investing from MoneyLion to help you navigate the investing maze and invest for the best outcomes.
Pay off high-interest credit cards.
If you have a steady source of income and a cash stash, pay off a small high-interest credit card. This prevents you from throwing away money on interest every month, and your credit score will benefit because your utilization is lower. Just don’t forget to use and pay off the card on occasion so the credit card issuer doesn’t close the account.
Get current on past-due debts.
Were you dealing with past-due debts before the COVID-19 crisis? If you’ve already called the creditors, and they won’t allow you to participate in a relief program, use a portion of your stimulus check to get current. This prevents the accounts from going into collections and saves you a bundle on late fees and penalties that continue to rack up.
Start rebuilding your credit.
Consider using your stimulus check to start rebuilding credit. You can settle those pesky collection accounts that aren’t near the reporting timeline to get them out of your hair. It may not increase your credit score much, but you’ll be perceived as less risky in the eyes of creditors.
Or you can join a Credit Builder Plus membership from MoneyLion, and boost your credit rating with a Credit Builder Loan up to $1,000. You’ll only spend a small portion of your stimulus check and receive a part or all of the loan proceeds in your account right away.
The remainder sits in an interest-earning Credit Reserve Account until you pay the loan off. Each time you make a payment, the positive activity is reported to the credit bureaus to help build your credit score.
Donate the funds to a worthy cause.
Are your finances in tip-top shape, and you don’t need the proceeds from the stimulus check? Make a contribution to the charity of your choice. A thousand dollars could go a long way when used to feed the needy or provide supplies to the low-income, underserved and homeless populations.
Word of Caution
There are many fraudsters anxiously waiting for victims to fall prey to their stimulus check scams. So, keep your eyes and ears open, refrain from providing your personal information promising to help you get your check faster. Take a look at this detailed guide to learn more about how to avoid stimulus check scams.