‘Keep members’ best interests at heart’

Credit unions waive fees, defer payments, and provide emergency loans to meet members’ needs during pandemic.

March 20, 2020

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues, credit unions are assisting members financially strapped due to a loss of income.

Solutions range from emergency loans to deferred loan payments, and waived fees.

“We’re here to serve our members in the best ways we can, and the actions we’re taking now are some of the best ways we have to help or serve our members,” says Steve Brown, CEO at Alcoa Community Federal Credit Union. “This was an easy decision for us.”

The $45 million asset credit union in Benton, Ark., allows members to defer up to two mortgage payments or three payments on consumers loans at no cost. It’s also implementing an emergency loan program of up to $2,500 with a 12-month term of 2.99% APR. It will waive fees for members who make payments remotely using a card.

ORNL Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge, Tenn., has created the Pandemic Sate of Emergency Assistance Loan Program for impacted members.

Members who meet certain qualifications, including limited underwriting requirements, can apply for an unsecured loan. The loan  has a maximum term of 48 months and 0% interest for the first six months, with a 3% fixed interest for the remainder of the term.

The loan limit is based on the member’s income, and the member can take up to 90 days to make the first payment.

‘Our goal is to make sure our members and their families are taken care of during this uncertain time.’
Colin Anderson

“We anticipate many members could be impacted by the pandemic state of emergency and we want to be prepared to help them in their time of need,” says Colin Anderson, president/CEO of the $2.3 billion asset credit union. “Our goal is to make sure our members and their families are taken care of during this uncertain time.”

Assisting members during the disruption is also key for Capital Credit Union in Green Bay, Wis.

The $1.7 billion asset credit union is granting three-month deferrals on current loan payments and offers a signature loan with a low interest rate for 18 months. The maximum loan amount equals the member’s previous two paychecks.

“With this situation being so fluid, we will continually monitor any offerings to make sure we are fully supporting our members during a time of need,” says Jonathan Probst, vice president of consumer lending/collections. “This may include expanding our current offerings to include larger dollar amounts with low interest rates.”

At Nusenda Credit Union in Albuquerque, N.M., affected members can skip their April payment on Nusenda credit cards or contact the credit union for payment deferrals on auto, personal, and home equity loans.

The $2.5 billion asset credit union  also offers a member assistance loan, a 0% relief loan to assist members who are missing work or need extra supplies. The credit union also works with members who are struggling to make their mortgage payments.

As they roll out these solutions, credit union leaders know the situation is fluid and they may need to make changes in the future to address additional needs.

“We will all  continue to take whatever measures we can to help our members through this difficult time,” Brown says. “Keep your members’ best interests at heart and be flexible, as this will be an ongoing and evolving situation during which we will have to adjust as conditions change.”