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You might still get a second stimulus check — here's the possible timing

·4 min read
You might still get a second stimulus check — here's the possible timing
You might still get a second stimulus check — here's the possible timing

For many months, the two political parties have been in a delicate dance over new COVID-19 relief measures, including more of those $1,200 "stimulus checks" to give households a financial boost and stimulate the economy.

But in recent days, President Donald Trump seemed to clear the dance floor.

In a tweet on Tuesday, he accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of "not negotiating in good faith" and said he had instructed his side to stop bargaining until after the Nov. 3 election.

By the end of the week, Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin were back at work trying to compromise on a new rescue package, and Trump was urging them to "Go Big!"

So, are you likely to get another payment soon? Here's what we currently know about when or if you'll get additional coronavirus cash from the government.

Second stimulus checks: What's happening?

Stack of 20 dollar bills with US Treasure illustrative check to illustrate coronavirus stimulus payment on white background
Steve Heap / Shutterstock

It's been more than six months since Trump signed the law that gave you your first — and so far only — stimulus check. (Which were mostly in the form of direct deposits, not check.)

The typical payment was $1,200, though the amount phased out for Americans with higher incomes. Families received $500 per child, but only up to age 16.

Households devastated by layoffs and lockdowns used the cash to buy food or pay bills. Americans in better financial shape went splurging, or used the money for more practical purposes like buying affordable life insurance to protect family members if a breadwinner died from the virus.

At the start of October, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House approved a new $2.2 trillion bill offering $1,200 for most taxpayers plus $500 per dependent. But the House needs to make a deal with the Republicans in charge of the Senate and the White House.

During his recent hospitalization for COVID-19, the president tweeted at congressional and White House negotiators: "OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE."

It was a few days later that Trump said the talks with off.

But on Friday, he indicated they were back on. "Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!" he said on Twitter.

How soon could you get more stimulus money?

With unemployment still high and with cooler weather bringing predictions of new infection spikes and new lockdowns, many consumers have been hoping for another $1,200.

According to reports on Friday, the White House is now proposing that new direct payments be part of a $1.8 trillion aid measure.

That's $400 billion smaller than the House bill, so there's still a lot of work to be done. No one gets any money until negotiators can agree on a bill that would pass the House and Senate, then be signed by the president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says all of that coming together is "unlikely in the next three weeks."

Once legislation is passed, money could flow relatively quickly because the government has already been through the process once this year.

If McConnell is wrong and a deal can be reached this month, before Election Day, money could start finding its way into Americans pockets in November.

If new COVID relief for Americans has to wait until after the election — regardless of who wins — it's unlikely new stimulus checks would go out before December.

What do you do in the meantime?

Worried young parent calculating bills at home
GreenMiles / Shutterstock

If your budget is stretched to the limits and you could really use an extra $1,200 right now, here are a few ways to find that cash on your own — and stop waiting for Washington to get its act together.

  • Cut the cost of your debt. If you're carrying high-interest credit cards, gather up those balances into a debt consolidation loan at a lower interest rate. You'll make that debt less expensive and replace multiple monthly payments with just one.

  • Trim your insurance costs. Car insurance companies have been lowering their rates amid the pandemic, but if yours won't cut you a break start shopping around for a better one. And when your homeowners insurance comes due, seek rate quotes from competing insurers and compare them, to get the best deal on coverage.

  • Refinance your mortgage. If you've got a mortgage and haven't refinanced yet in 2020, you're overdue. Thanks to some of the lowest mortgage rates on record, more than 19 million homeowners have the potential to reduce their monthly payments by around $300 through a refi, says data firm Black Knight.

  • Clamp down on your monthly spending. Consider dropping your cable and using a less expensive streaming service instead. Fight the temptation to order delivery for dinner and make meals in your own kitchen. And, download a free browser extension that will find you the best price every time you shop online.

  • Pick up a side hustle. Make some extra money by getting yourself a side gig. Turn a hobby into a source of income, or use an online marketplace to find someone eager to pay for your talents and skills.