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Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill

Editor's Note: For the latest developments regarding federal student loan debt repayment, check out our student debt guide.

What is Included in the Bill?

President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan yesterday, a $1.9 trillion bill providing COVID-19 relief for American families and communities. Yesterday also marked one year to the day after the WHO declared a pandemic.

The bill will send direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans. Additionally, the bill will extend the $300 per week unemployment insurance supplement until September 6. The plan also allocates $20 billion in funding for COVID-19 vaccines and $350 billion for state, local, and tribal relief.

Receiving Your Stimulus Check

The White House has said that direct deposits will begin arriving in people’s bank accounts as early as this weekend. Payments will continue going out over the course of the next several weeks.

The Get My Payment tool from the IRS can answer questions about the status and timing of your stimulus payment.

If you have a SoFi Money account, you may have been given a new routing number recently. But not to worry—if you have an open account, qualify for this stimulus, and have received past stimulus payments, you should expect this stimulus payment to post in the same way. But remember to use your new SoFi routing number when you’re filing your 2020 taxes. Find it in the Money tab of the app under “More.”

Things to Do with a Stimulus Check

If you will receive a check, you have flexibility to use it as you see fit—save, invest, or spend. But here are some things to consider:

Setting up an emergency fund: If you don’t already have one, you could consider using a stimulus payment to set up an emergency fund. Conventional wisdom says you should have between three months and six months’ worth of expenses set aside for an emergency, but it all depends on your financial situation. If you need a place to store your emergency fund for safe keeping, consider a Vault from SoFi Checking and Savings.

Reviewing student loan payments: Federal student loan payments are suspended and interest is waived on all federal student loans through Aug. 31, 2022. You could consider applying a stimulus payment to the principal of a federal student loan before interest kicks back in. Check with the loan servicer to confirm payments have been suspended.

Saving for retirement: Depending on your financial situation, this could present an opportunity to review some of your investments. A few options worth exploring are:

•  Maximizing contributions to an IRA: Those that haven’t hit contribution limits for 2020 still have time if you have not filed your 2020 taxes yet.

•  Contribute to an after-tax brokerage account: If you’ve already met your savings goals and have taken advantage of retirement accounts, you might choose to invest your stimulus money for the chance of earning returns in the stock market. Invest now, no matter your experience level, with SoFi Invest® in the SoFi app.

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