Maybe you’d rather forget 2021 – we get it.
But before heading into 2022, it’s a good idea to assess how your finances may have changed over the past 12 months and make any necessary adjustments.
Here are five areas of finance to check so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises this year.
5 Financial Surprises (Bad Things) to Avoid in 2022
Missing Student Loan Payments
If you’ve been taking advantage of student loan deferrals since March 2020 — when all payments and interest on federally held student loans were suspended — it’s time to resume those payments.
Patience ends April 30, 2022, at which point you start to owe your student loans and accrue interest. Don’t delay contacting your student loan servicer.
If you are on a standard repayment plan and cannot make payments, please apply Income-driven repayment plan, which may significantly reduce your monthly payment at the end of the forbearance period. If you’re already on an income-driven plan, update your income to revise your monthly payments.
Overdraft fees are one of the most criticized fees assessed by banks because those living on paychecks are likely to accidentally overdraft.
The goods are 2021, and a number of institutions including Ally Bank, Alliant Credit Union and Capital One have eliminated overdraft fees.
Since the New Year, Bank of America has announced that it will reduce overdraft fees from $35 to $10 and intends to lower refund fees. Wells Fargo said it would give customers 24 hours to cover overdrafts, although it did not budge on the $35 overdraft penalty.
What does this mean to you?If you bank in a place with high fees, maybe 2022 should be the year you find a new bank – here’s a rundown of those fee changes, plus a checklist Banks that don’t charge overdraft fees at all.
Social Security Changes
Whether you’re already retired or years away, Social Security affects your finances, and there are some big changes to the system this year.
First some good news for retirees: Social Security is getting their Largest cost of living increase since 1982. But don’t expect the monthly checks to be bigger – most of the growth will be eaten Health insurance premiums rise.
If retirement is in your future, you’ll have to wait longer to get to it – as of 2002, The full retirement age is now 67.
End the Child Tax Credit
If you are the parent of a child under 18, you may receive an additional monthly payment Temporary Child Tax Credit Increase — but this additional revenue stream ends in 2021.
Beginning in July 2021, eligible parents will receive up to $250 per month per child ages 6 to 17 and up to $300 per child under age 6. The last payment is on December 15, and the remaining half of the credit—$1,500 to $1,800, depending on the age of the child—will be paid this year when parents file their 2021 taxes.
The only way to get the remaining half of the credit is to file a 2021 tax return—the sooner the better, if Last year’s refund delay is any sign.
The fastest way to get additional child tax credit funds is Online declaration. There are many free tax preparation software programs that can simplify the process.
credit card debt
Don’t let the ghosts of past credit card purchases haunt you in 2022.
However, if you are having trouble making a payment, you should contact your lender and ask them for help or hardship plan.
Start by looking for the customer service number on a copy of your mortgage, credit card, auto loan, or other loan statement. When calling, please provide your account number and clearly explain why you cannot pay your bill. Be sure to ask about all your options and how your payments, balances, interest rates and credit scores may be affected.
Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a Staff Writer/Editor.