During the six weeks ending April 25, more than 30 million Americans filed for unemployment. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects this will have on consumers and the economy, I will focus on all the amazing examples of how credit unions have helped their members and the communities they serve.
Working for a credit union service organization (CUSO), I have seen firsthand how credit unions have gone above and beyond to help their members financially. With the help of some innovative financial technology companies, there has been a collaborative effort between credit unions and fintechs.
Here are a few collaborative efforts that have helped credit unions better serve their members in this time of need.
Paycheck Protection Program
The biggest financial topic right now is the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses. Over 1.6 million small businesses have been helped with PPP loans.
Judging by the announcements and press releases from credit unions all around the country, I estimate that thousands of those were processed through credit unions. All of these applications for the PPP loan had to be manually entered by the institution which can cause a mountain size of back log and extra work. Now that the government has approved an additional $450 billion the applications will continue to flow in.
Companies like MeridianLink have created a digital solution to help process these PPP applications for credit unions. They recognized that many small businesses missed out on the first round and that may have happened because the lack of technology. MeridianLink has created a great solution called the SBA PPP Fast Track solution. Their website has access to a recorded webinar which discusses the product capabilities.
Digital deferment solutions
It is safe to say the second largest pain point for credit unions is the extreme amount of request for loan deferments or “skip-a-pay” offers and loan modifications. This is not a shock considering how many people have filed for unemployment and are in financial hardship. These were unseen circumstances and even in a perfect world when it comes to back office efficiency the level of request coming in are creating a backlog.
There have been a few fintech companies that stepped up to the plate and created a more automated solution. The Reset Solutions at Rate Reset have been used by credit unions nationwide for more than 10 years.
NCUA has also encouraged modification solutions like the Reset Technology we offer at Rate Reset. We have leveraged its time-tested existing Reset solutions to create a digital deferment solution. The clients using this solution have experienced a more efficient process and increased member satisfaction. The CUSO has been able to help many credit unions mitigate their back log of modification and deferment request with their automated process. The member surveys can attest to the credit unions mission of putting them first and helping when they need it most.
People helping people
What I have found to be the most incredible example of credit unions caring for their members has nothing to do with their financial needs. Credit unions all around the country have donated money, resources, medical supplies, consumer goods, food and many other items that their communities need.
This act of kindness shows exactly why people bank with a credit union. It is incredible to see how many credit unions are stepping up to help in anyway they can. One of the biggest mottos of the credit union industry is “people helping people.”
In times like this it is clear to me that credit unions truly stand by their mission and help their members in any circumstance.