Nov 09 '20

Thinking Forward in Times of Uncertainty

Keeping community values at the forefront, credit unions showed up for their members and continue to show up as the world moves from crisis mode to recovery mode. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the United States, credit unions began working harder than ever before to be a strong support system for their members. Credit unions found ways to support their members. Here is just one example from one of Filene's Inner Circle Members, Redwood Credit Union.

On Friday, a member who is a regular came in and engaged in conversation. As we talked for a brief moment she informed me that she was more than likely not going to be coming in anymore, and when I had asked why, she began to get a bit sad saying she cleans houses and the owners of the houses aren’t having her come over to work anymore. 

She said she didn’t know what she was going to do about her rent that was coming due and that her husband had been laid off as well. She didn’t know what was going to happen. I let her know we were offering a no-interest signature loan of up to $5,000 with no credit check for Members impacted by COVID and the shelter-in-place requirement. She seemed interested but said she was embarrassed to ask for money. I reassured her that she’s not alone and there are a lot people in her same situation. That we are here to help in any way we can.

She began to tell me that she’s not good with emails and doesn’t know English very well so she’s always afraid to ask questions. I explained that we had a representative, Juan, who speaks Spanish and is able to help her with any questions she might have. After I finished her transaction she sat down with Juan.

On Monday she came into the branch really happy. I began to ask how she was doing, she was in tears saying thank you for letting her know about the loan, and for making her feel understood and not embarrassed. When Juan told her she had been approved for the full $5,000 she said she couldn’t believe it. Afterwards, she was in our parking lot for 10 minutes in her car crying calling her husband telling him everything will be okay. She expressed to me over and over how grateful she is to have a credit union who is there for her in situations that she has no control over and that she sends lots of ‘thank yous’ because it helped her family in ways she can’t explain.

COVID-19 changed everything and there’s no going back; we can only rebuild from here.