How credit unions helped members during COVID-19

From lending to waiving fees, stopping repossessions to halting payments, here’s how credit unions across the country stepped up to support members.

In January 2021, Callahan & Associates surveyed credit union leaders across the country about their individual approaches to member relief throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The results were varied and insightful.

Credit unions offered financial support to members in myriad ways, including payment deferrals, emergency loans, fee refunds, waivers, community support, and financial counseling. Callahan’s survey focused on three areas: loan deferrals and enrollments, repossessions, and additional relief packages. Each section offered invaluable insight into credit union decision-making and reinforced the member-centric model they operate under.

Fewer than 13% of responding credit unions automatically enrolled members in payment deferral programs. The two most common factors these credit unions considered when implementing such programs were product type and the financial standing of accounts prior to COVID-19.

Of the credit unions that automatically enrolled members, 40% did so for an entire product line. Most commonly, they removed minimum payments and did not require payments on credit card balances.


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