These are strange, different, and unprecedented times, but not completely unfamiliar. In the last ten years alone, Credit Unions have survived incredible natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes). The industry has also survived government closures and an energy crisis.
During each of these crises, Credit Unions have done what they do best, do right by their members.
Here are just a few examples of credit unions being "the helper."
During the recent mortgage crisis, credit unions worked hard to keep members in their homes when foreclosure from other financial institutions was looming uncomfortably close.
When monthly energy prices were nearly the amount of an auto loan payment, many credit unions allowed qualifying members to skip their auto loan payment to pay their energy bills to keep the lights on.
The ability to skip a loan payment is nearly a standard benefit found with most credit union credit cards and auto loans. While skipping a loan payment extends the life of the loan, the ability to have that cash available may be a critical way for members to stay afloat.
If deferring an auto loan payment is considered a form of a micro-loan then micro-finance research, performed by Harvard Professor Rohini Pande and Duke University Professor Erica Field, indicates a positive economic impact when a borrower is given a chance to defer a payment. Pande and Field found that offering borrowers a grace period of just two months doubled the rate that new businesses were created. The cash flow generated by the deferred payment allowed the borrower to take more significant risks that then resulted in bigger rewards. After three years, business profits were 41 percent higher, and household incomes increased by 19.5 percent.
While uncertainty seems to be the common thread in today's world, it also provides credit unions with another opportunity to shine and remind members that they have their back, like they always have and always will. Share how your credit union has your back at #credituniondifference on Twitter and LinkedIn or wherever you #.
LOOKING FOR MORE?
Plan on attending an Online Gathering where we will turn fear into fuel to identify ways to continue to provide the credit union hug in uncertain times.
Probably now more than ever, members would benefit from the Credit Union Hug.
The credit union hug is the passion that credit union employees have for their members. They love to help them and in ways, you wouldn’t expect from a financial institution. And in these uncertain times, members really need a hug. But how?
Join the Turn Fear into Fuel online gathering on Tuesday, March 24 at 8 am PST/10 am CST/11 EST for this no-cost event to connect, collaborate and co-create with like-minded cooperatives.
I hope to see you there!