Suze Orman had some savvy and comforting pandemic-related financial advice this morning. But she also had some blunt warnings about the insufficiency of the CARES Act stimulus payments and how credit card companies and credit bureaus are making things worse.
April 11, 2020

Orman reassured viewers that the economy will recover and their bank accounts are safe. She also advised worried investors and pensioners how to act sensibly during this time and that there is no need to panic.

However, Orman did not sugarcoat her thinking about the inadequacy of the stimulus checks nor the deep doo-doo of our financial crisis:

ORMAN: What's so very sad is that so many people are waiting for this $1,200, and when you have nothing, $1,200 can seem like a fortune. But Ali, most of ‘em aren't going to see it for possibly, four, five, or six months, so they're counting on something that in my opinion, for many, aren't even going to come.

Unemployment is almost impossible to get for many people, depending on your state regulations. And even though you've applied for unemployment doesn't mean that you're necessarily going to get it. So we are really in a situation where the people who need the money the most in my opinion still aren't going to have it, so we have a personal financial crisis here, if you're asking me, like none that we've ever seen before, Ali, even when we went through this in 2008. ... That was nowhere near as bad as it is right now.

Orman was especially critical of the credit card companies and credit bureaus. She called on each to do their part: credit card companies should lower interest rates to 0% during this time and credit bureaus should “absolutely not” decrease credit scores.

ORMAN: This is one of the great travesties in life in that two [groups of] companies should be helping us more than ever. The credit card companies should be lowering all the interest rates down to 0%, number one, and number two, all the credit bureaus should absolutely not be decreasing any credit scores whatsoever from the time this started, but they are.

So at a time when people don't have the money to pay their bills, they need more credit, is the exact time that these credit bureaus are dinging our credit scores, which makes it almost impossible for us then to get more credit on credit cards, to get a good interest rate, to do the things that we need.

The good news, not mentioned here, is that Sen. Kamala Harris is publicly demanding those same consumer protections.

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