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Many unemployed people aren't aware of all the relief they may qualify for during the pandemic

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Unemployment continues rising.

Even if last week's jobless claims — 2.4 million — are somewhat lower than the previous week, the number is still high.

"This number of new claims alone is about equal to the population of the city of Houston," said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for Bankrate.  

Most unemployed Americans think their layoffs will be temporary, but that may not be the case for many, research says.

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Between the stuttering economy and the imminent end of enhanced unemployment insurance, that means a continued need for relief. And while most unemployed Americans say they're aware of coronavirus-related aid, many haven't used it, according to financial advice website Credit Karma.

In addition to stimulus checks and unemployment benefits from federal and state governments, you can get assistance from private companies in a range of financial areas.

Here's a look at what's available.

Help with credit card bills 

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You may be able to get some help from your credit card company. Most of the big issuers are waiving fees and allowing customers to delay paying. Many are granting eligible new cardholders extensions on earning welcome bonuses.

This list of major credit card companies shows the range of assistance, such as the option to skip payments and even receiving lower interest rates. The assistance you receive depends on your individual situation.

Ask for a written statement that details the terms of whatever you agree to.

Banking issues

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Though the Federal Reserve has made lending cheaper with lower interest rates, loans may be harder to get. Banks are tightening their lending standards, and that means credit availability is shrinking.

It may still be possible, though. Personal finance website NerdWallet has a list of loan options, including payday loan alternatives from credit unions and info on online lenders. 

The American Bankers Association keeps a regularly updated list of banks of all sizes and what they're doing, from offering loan modifications and interest-only payments to advancing new lines of credit to creditworthy borrowers.

Paying student loans

Borrowers with federal student loans got relief in the form of suspended payments and 0% interest until October, and another government stimulus package might extend that pause for another year.

A recent class action suit, though, says this isn't playing out exactly as planned. Check your credit report to see if your payments are being misreported, which can impact your score.

If you have a private student loan, check the strategies offered by the nonprofit Institute of Student Loan Advisors Corporation.

Car loan help

The 2020 Nissan GT-R
Mack Hogan | CNBC

Most auto lenders are providing support for their customers. If you need help, your first best move is to reach out to your lender as soon as possible to discuss the options.

One of the most generous offers is six months of payment relief from Hyundai and Genesis for owners who lose their jobs. Maserati is waiving late fees and insufficient funds fees.

Auto resource site Edmunds.com regularly updates its list of manufacturers and lenders with relief programs.

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