Snapshot of How Area Credit Unions are Helping Members During Pandemic

Credit unions, with a long history of helping members during government shutdowns, natural disasters, and 2008 financial crisis, are stepping up once again.

Along with maintaining public confidence in the financial system by ensuring essential services continue to be available, credit unions are remaining vigilant about protecting the health and well-being of staff and members. We’ve pulled together a snapshot of what area credit unions are doing to help as disruption to the economy -- and to the lives of members -- continues to move at an unrelenting pace. Here’s a look at what some of you have shared with us:

InFirst FCU
InFirst FCU’s branch in Marlow Heights is still operating at full-service and is available to all members of credit unions within the CO-OP Shared Branching network. With a lobby that has the space to accommodate social distancing directives, tellers are handling transactions from behind protective glass. The InFirst FCU shared branch is located in the Marlow Heights Shopping Center in Temple Hills, Maryland (4003 Branch Ave., Temple Hills, MD 201748).

Five Star FCU
At Five Star FCU, the Catonsville-based credit union ramped up communications, including displaying posters in the lobby to encourage members, who had not adopted alternate delivery channels, to apply for ATM/debit cards, sign up for online or mobile banking and utilize the credit union’s telephone teller system. The outreach was quite successful with Five Star FCU setting a one-day record for card orders, but more importantly, supporting members.

“I’ve provided guidance to our lending and collections areas that we need to be listening for members who have been financially impacted by the pandemic,” said Five Star FCU President/CEO Jim Whipp. “This may include offering no cost skip-a-payments, waiving fees, or re-writing a loan with new more flexible or affordable terms. We’re focused on geting our members through this.”

FRB FCU knows its members, so when the COVID-19 outbreak began, the credit union immediately got to work identifying members without debit cards, reaching out to them with an offer to sign them up. Members who don’t use online services received a communication outlining how to reach the credit union and the credit union is posting daily status updates on its website.

Cedar Point FCU
Cedar Point FCU is offering a variety of assistance programs including a loan extension for up to one year with no increase in the interest rate, skip-a-payment for up to 60 days, 60-day interest-free consumer loans of up to $3,000, and penalty-free (non-IRA) certificate withdrawal.

Del-One FCU
Last week, Del-One FCU introduced a new temporary emergency loan of up to $5,000 for members who experience financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Arlington Community FCU
Arlington Community FCU is offering members the option to temporarily skip loan payments, offering low-interest loans and financial counseling along with reminders for members to use remote services and enroll if they haven’t already.