Christy Bieber, The Motley Idiot
Printed 7:01 a.m. ET April 2, 2021

Many People have already got their third stimulus checks of their financial institution accounts, or will quickly obtain them by way of mail or direct deposit. These funds are for $1,400 per eligible grownup and dependent.

When you owe cash on a bank card or different high-interest debt, what to do together with your funds could appear apparent: Use the cash to cut back your stability. Nonetheless, whereas that may be a very good use of the funds, it isn’t the appropriate selection in each state of affairs.

The truth is, there’s one circumstance by which you can remorse paying off debt together with your stimulus funds.

Paying off debt is not your best option if that is true

You can remorse repaying debt together with your stimulus examine should you shouldn’t have any emergency funds and you utilize your complete quantity to cut back your debt stability.

When you don’t have anything in your checking account to pay for shock bills, even a minor monetary setback can flip into a serious calamity. Typically, bills come up that may’t wait, from an equipment that stops working to an surprising medical difficulty. With out an emergency fund, you are caught scrambling to pay for them.

Unemployment break: IRS tax refunds to start in May for $10,200 unemployment tax break: Here’s what you need to know

Extra: Stimulus checks coming for some Social Security recipients and other federal beneficiaries, IRS says

As an alternative of leaving your self unprotected towards such surprises, put some or your entire stimulus cash into an emergency fund. Although it means you’ll have to pay extra curiosity on the debt that you simply’re engaged on paying down, you may keep away from ending up in a worse state of affairs if shock bills arrive. When you pay down debt, then face an unplanned emergency, there is no assure you’ll borrow once more to cowl it. You can additionally get caught borrowing at a better rate of interest.

Even should you can cost the shock expense with the bank card you paid off, a setback could be demoralizing. You may get caught in a cycle of paying again debt, borrowing once more, then working to pay it again once more. This could make it powerful to turn out to be debt-free for good.

So if you do not have an emergency fund, take into account beginning one. Purpose to avoid wasting no less than three to 6 months’ price of bills, however any contribution you make to get it began is useful. It could possibly cushion you towards bumps within the street so you possibly can really feel comfy paying off your debt with out worrying about borrowing once more.

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The Motley Idiot is a USA TODAY content material associate providing monetary information, evaluation and commentary designed to assist individuals take management of their monetary lives. Its content material is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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