Coronavirus Stimulus Checks: Who’s Getting One and When?

The coronavirus pandemic is causing sweeping economic concerns across the country. Record numbers of people are filing for unemployment. Many who aren’t completely out of work are facing issues with lower-than-normal income. In late March 2020, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security—CARES—Act to help provide some relief, and stimulus checks are part of that package.

What Are Coronavirus Stimulus Checks?

The stimulus checks are checks are for qualified individuals and families as part of the stimulus package. The CARES act and the related checks are meant to provide some financial relief to those who are struggling economically because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who Will Get a Coronavirus Stimulus Check?

Not everyone is going to receive a stimulus check. Congress tied the checks to tax returns. Whether you get a check, and how much it is, depends on your income.

The most common way to have access to the stimulus relief, is to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. If you didn’t file your 2018 or 2019 tax return, the IRS has a tool you can use to make sure you get your check, if you qualify for one. 

How Much Are the Coronavirus Stimulus Checks?

Individual filers who make less than $75,000 in annual adjusted gross income will receive $1,200. Married filers who make less than $150,000 will receive $2,400. You will receive an additional $500 for every dependent under the age of 17 on your tax returns, assuming you meet the income threshold for the initial stimulus payment.

People who make over those amounts may still receive some money. The amount of the check goes down on a sliding scale. Anyone making more than $99,000 individually won’t receive a check. For married couples, that amount is $198,000.

Individuals who file as head of household get an additional break here. You can make up to $112,500 and still receive the $1,200.

What does this look like in real life? Consider this example: Let’s say you’re part of a married couple whose made $115,000 total in adjusted gross income in 2019. If you have two children, that means you’d receive $2,400 plus $500 for each child. So, in total, you’d receive $3,400 in your stimulus check.

Do You Need to Do Anything to Get a Check?

If you’re unsure on how to get your stimulus check, don’t worry—the IRS has an easy tool for you to use. Simply visit their Get My Payment Tool for more details. Just keep in mind that you might need your 2018 and 2019 return. If you didn’t file your 2019 return, the IRS has a tool that’ll ensure you get your stimulus check, if you qualify for one.

When Will Your Stimulus Check Arrive?

As of mid-April, some people were already receiving electronic deposits of their stimulus checks. If your bank account information was on file with the IRS because that’s how you received your tax refund in 2019, you’ll receive an electronic deposit. Otherwise, you’ll receive a paper check.

The federal government has not made any promises about when all payments will go out. Some estimates are that it will take through August before everyone receives their check. Reportedly, the IRS will begin issuing paper checks starting with people and families with the lowest incomes first.

Ideas for Using Your Stimulus Check

Many people are already talking about what they might do with their stimulus check. For many Americans, these checks are coming at a time when they’ll need to be used to pay necessary expenses such as rent, utility bills or groceries.

But for others, they are an extra bit of money that might be used in other ways. Depending on your circumstances, here are some ways you might use your stimulus check.

  • Stretch it out to cover as many necessary expenses as possible by taking advantage of other relief, including mortgage relief options.
  • Use it to pay down debt or get ahead on your budget to create a bigger buffer if you do experience a loss of income in the future.
  • Put the money in a high-yield savings account until you need it.

Other Financial Relief Options

If you’re not getting a coronavirus stimulus check or it’s not going to be enough to make a difference, there are other options. Here are just a few to consider.

  • Short-term loans. Many financial organizations offer small personal loans, typically up to $3,000. The loans may be an option even if you don’t have great credit.Many lenders have varying requirements that you may qualify for, and some lenders have made available programs to help people struggling financially during the pandemic. Contact your local bank to find out about these types of options.
  • Relief from current lenders. Reach out to mortgage servicers, auto loan lenders and credit card companies. Many are offering to defer or modify loan terms, or waive certain fees for a short period of time or otherwise work with current customers who can’t make payments because of COVID-19-related income loss.
  • File for unemployment.Expanded unemployment benefits during the pandemic make this an option for more people.

Whether it’s the best of times or the worst, knowledge is one of the most important things you can have when it comes to money. Educate yourself about financial options during COVID-19 with our COVID-19 financial resource guide. receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them. Compensation is not a factor in the substantive evaluation of any product.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline,, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to are also able to register for a free account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Editorial Team