Essential Pacific

Well, it may be true that Pacific Islanders are disproportionately being affected by the pandemic (Covid19), but one thing that’s in our favor is the fact that many of us are essential workers. This means many of us are still employed and are getting paid. Not only that, most of us are getting some bonuses, and the Federal Government had passed several measures to help individuals and families that are very helpful to us.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has afforded us some relief in the forms of the Eviction Moratorium, suspension of principal and interest payments on students loans until September 30th, the stimulus or Economic Impact Payments, and others.

In the private sector, auto insurance companies are offering refunds or deep discounts, auto loan lenders are offering payment arrangements or deferred payments, xfinity is offering free access to all of their hotspots, energy and utility companies are not disconnecting services to anyone and the list goes on.

Here’s what I am trying to say here. There’s a lot of help, too much that you may find yourself thinking what the hell is going on. All of a sudden you find yourself having more money than you’d ever had.

In addition to your normal pay, you also got bonuses or overtime pay for being an essential employee. And  you got at least $1,200 deposited into your account in the form of a stimulus payment. And to top things off, you don’t have to pay rent because you’re not going to be evicted per the EVICTION MORATORIUM, declared either by the Feds or by the state or local governments.

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With all these new initiatives or helps, how do we prepare ourselves for the return of normalcy? Or will there be one? It’s up to you and me and we must start today.

Navigating the waters

Today, you find yourself with more money than you’d ever had. But will you have enough for the future? Will your essential status help you stay on the job? How long will you be protected by the Eviction Moratorium? What happened when your Mortgage Forbearance ends? Will you still get bonus? Is there another stimulus payment coming? Lots and lots of questions to ask ourselves. I am going to try to help ease your mind by giving you a few points.

But before I do that, I must tell you that I am not a certified financial professional. Please consult one for your own personal situation. Take whatever you could from my article but keep in mind that these are my own opinion and are not scientifically backed up in any ways, shape or form.

Now, let’s get to it. If you have an auto loan, this is the best time to talk to your lender about deferred payment. I highly recommend this. Why? Because what happened is that the lender will just move your payments to the end of the term of the loan instead of requiring you to pay everything at the end of the deferment agreement.

Let’s say your car payment is due for 05/15/2020 and your final payment will be on 05/15/2024, entering into the deferment agreement, you and the lender agreed to a 2 months deferment starting the month of May. What this does is now putting those two months at the end of the loan where now your final payment will be on 07/15/2024 instead of 05/15/2024. Just a mere 2 months later and no additional interests or negative reporting because of the situation we’re in.

How about rent or mortgage? Heck with those, CONTINUE PAYING THEM! DO NOT FALL INTO THE TRAP! How about the Eviction Moratorium? Well, let me explain. The intentions were spot on, but the end result will only get you deeper into trouble unless someone comes up with a better deal. IF YOU HAVE ALL THAT MONEY TODAY (BONUSES PLUS STIMULUS), PLEASE PAY YOUR RENT AND/OR MORTGAGE AS IF NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.

If you can honestly look in the mirror, without a wink, and say you don’t have ZERO money; NO STIMULUS, NO BONUS, NO JOB, then of course you have no other options. BUT, I KNOW MOST OF YOU ISLANDERS DO, PLEASE PAY THE DAMN RENT OR MORTGAGE. It’s the best option and the option I highly recommend because it’s the only option that will help you.

See, the Eviction Moratorium protects you from eviction, interests and fees, but you will still have to pay your rent at the end of it. Let’s say your rent is $1,500/month and the Eviction Moratorium is in place for 4 months; March, April, May and June. In July, if you haven’t pay anything at all, you will have to pay a total amount of $1,500/month multiply by 4 months equals to a whopping total of $6,000. If this doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what kind of mentality you have. lol.

The situation described in the above paragraph applies to Mortgage Forbearance too. It’s a terrible trap! Please avoid it at all costs.

If you can pay a little, go ahead and do that. The only situation that will put you in a spot where you cannot afford to pay your rent or mortgage is if you lose your job and don’t have employment insurance. And the only scenario where that will apply is you’re fired from your job. Otherwise, you will still get unemployment of at least $235 from the state and $600 from the Federal Government each week, YES I SAID THAT; each week which may give you more than you normally make.

And if you’re not paying your car loan for 2 months, get refunds or discounts on your auto insurance, and can delay paying for your phone, utility, and energy bills, then of course you can use all that savings to protect you from falling into the Eviction Moratorium (EM) trap.

When and if our politicians can come up with a better deal, which may never happen, keep on paying your rent and/or mortgage. And I still believe most PI peeps probably are making more money than they ever had at this point.

Unless, you live on Guam (terrible fb newsfeed), you have no excuse not to stay as far away as you can from the EM trap by continually paying your rent and/or mortgage.

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“the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in time of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in time of challenge and controversy.”

safe me: Sharks

Alright guys, let me do this for those that need it. Following is a poster full of information from the Washington State Department of Commerce for your convenience. Also provided you with links to pdf and word file format downloadable files. Compiled these information from the official website of the governor of Washington State ( as well as the website of the Washington State Attorney General ( I thought this would be the easiest way for you to find these info. Click on the button to access its contents.

“Hope the information we provided do help you and yours in a small way.”

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