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Stimulus check: How much you’ll get and when

Find out when you’ll receive your check and seven ways you can spend it wisely.

Millions of Americans can expect to get a stimulus check in the next few weeks thanks to the passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Find out what you can do with your check and how much you’re estimated to receive.

Is another stimulus check coming?

Yes, there is a second stimulus check on the horizon. Congress agreed to the relief package on December 20 and President Trump signed it on December 28. Individuals will receive $600, and families will receive up to $2,400.

How much will I get with my stimulus check?

You could get up to $1,200 as an individual if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is $75,000 and up to $2,400 if you’re married and your AGI is $150,000. You’ll also receive $500 for each child younger than 17. The amount you’ll receive decreases by $5 for every $100 you earn over $75,000 for individuals or $150,000 for couples. Use the tables below to find out how much you’re estimated to qualify for based on your filing status and adjusted gross income.

Single or Married, filing separately

Adjusted gross incomeStimulus check amount
$75,000 or less$1,200

Married, filing jointly

Adjusted gross incomeStimulus check amount
$150,000 or less$2,400

Head of household

Adjusted gross incomeStimulus check amount
$112,500 or less$1,200

When will I receive my stimulus check?

The first round of stimulus checks went out on April 11, 2020. To check the status of your stimulus check, confirm your payment type and update your bank account information, visit the IRS website.

The quickest way to get your money is with direct deposit to your bank account or prepaid card, such as the Netspend or H&R Block Emerald card. If the IRS already has your direct deposit information on file from your 2019 or 2018 tax return, you won’t have to do anything to get your check. If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit info, you’ll get a paper check or prepaid Visa debit card in the mail to your last known address.

If you receive your payment in the form of a prepaid debit card, check out our guide to prevent fees from eating away at your funds.

Are nonfilers eligible for the stimulus check?

Yes. You have until October 15, 2020, to claim your stimulus check by submitting a nonfilers form on the IRS website.

What if my stimulus check is wrong?

If you received a stimulus check for the wrong amount, here are three tips to keep in mind:

  • Be wary of scams. There are COVID-19-related scams going around where you receive a stimulus check for more than you need, then the scammer asks you to wire any money you owe back to them.
  • Wait to hear from the IRS. The IRS will send you a letter in the mail 15 days after your receive your check confirming how much money was sent and how to alert them if you received the wrong amount.
  • Don’t touch the extra funds. The IRS will check to see if they’ve made a mistake, so you may have to pay it back at some point or when you file taxes next year. Until then, consider putting the extra funds in a savings account, so you can at least earn some interest while you wait. You wouldn’t want to lock it away in a CD, since you won’t know when you’ll need to pay it back.

7 tips to use your stimulus check wisely

If you’re wondering what you should do with your stimulus check, here are seven smart ways to use it:

1. Pay your bills

Before you do anything else, make sure your essentials are covered — especially if you’ve been furloughed, laid off or are concerned about your job status during this pandemic. Use the money for rent, groceries, utilities or anything else you need to get back on track financially.

2. Get ahead on next month’s expenses

If the bills are already paid, why not get ahead on next month’s expenses? Consider using a budgeting app to cover future essentials, so you’re not scrambling to make ends meet if the unexpected happens, such as a loss in income.

3. Use it to pay off existing debt

The average American household carries over $8,000 in credit card debt alone, according to Use your stimulus check to pay down any debts that may be keeping you up at night. If you know you’ll owe the IRS on taxes in July, consider using it to pay your tax bill. If you’re not sure which debts you should tackle first? Compare the avalanche vs. snowball method to see which could save you the most money and time.

4. Stash it in a high-yield savings account

If all your bills are paid, consider stashing the money in a high-yield savings account or an emergency fund where you’ll earn a decent interest rate. Or, simply sit on it until you figure out how to use it in a way that aligns with your savings goals and needs.

5. Put it in a CD

The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates to almost zero, so CD rates aren’t quite as competitive as they once were. That said, some banks haven’t lowered their rates yet. Depending on how quickly you get your stimulus check, you may be able to snag a high APY before rates drop.

But you won’t want to lock all your money up in case you need it down the road. During uncertain times, you may want to consider a no-penalty CD that won’t ding you for early withdrawals. Just know that no-penalty CD rates tend to be lower than traditional CD rates.

6. Give it to those in need

If you’ve fared well through this financial storm, consider helping those in your community. You could donate the money to your local food bank or homeless shelter, small businesses struggling to make ends meet, medical professionals, and more.

If you’re thinking about giving the money to charity, thoroughly vet the organization before you do. There’s been a rise in fraudulent activity due to the coronavirus, so be vigilant in your research and only donate to trusted organizations.

7. Do a combination of the above

Depending on your financial situation, it may be best to divvy up your money and use some of it to pay off bills, beef up your emergency fund and pay off debt. And if you were considering opening up a CD, you should keep a portion elsewhere that gives you easier access to your money when you need it.

Compare high-interest savings accounts

If you decide to open up a savings account, compare which one will give you the highest APY today.

Name Product Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
Bread Savings™ High-Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bread Savings™ High-Yield Savings
Earn competitive interest rates with this high-yield savings account you can open in just minutes. Member FDIC.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
$0 per month or $7.99 per month for Aspiration Plus ($5.99 per month if you pay annually)
New customers get a $150 bonus when they open an account and spend $1,000 in the first 60 days.
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC and a $150 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Quontic Bank High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Quontic Bank High Yield Savings
Interest is compounded daily. No monthly service fees. Competitive rates
Barclays Online Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Barclays Online Savings
Barclays Online Savings account offers key features that can help you save, including a high-interest rate, no monthly fees, and no minimum deposit.
Quontic Bank Money Market
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Quontic Bank Money Market
Competitive rates, no monthly fees, user-friendly online banking platform

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

This $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is about to put a decent chunk of money in the hands of millions of Americans. The key is to make sure you use it in a way that aligns with your needs and goals. Learn more about the CARES Act and how it affects your savings with our guide.

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