The health and safety impact of the COVID-19 outbreak can not be understated, but neither can the economic impact. Last week Oregon and Washington reported record new unemployment claims, and our footprint has been affected. If you run into trouble paying bills or loans, or paying on time, there may be a number of options to help, especially if you reach out to us, as well as your other creditors. Even though our branch lobbies have temporary restricted lobbies, you can still talk to us face-to-face through our video teller units and WaunaCU Now. More information about how to reach us can be found on our COVID-19 resource page.
This is the most important step at all. We’re always here to help, and right now companies are doing everything they can to lessen the impact of the financial hardships many people are facing. Being behind on your payments can have a lasting impact on your credit but making your lender aware of your situation may not only provide peace of mind, it can also help you create a plan.
WCU, Credit card companies, and other lenders may be able to offer you a number of options to help you. This could include waiving certain fees like Overdraft, ATM, and late fees, as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.
When contacting your lenders, be prepared to explain:
- Your situation
- How much you can afford to pay
- When you’re likely to be able to restart regular payments
- In the case of mortgages, be prepared to discuss your income, expenses and assets
Also, if you have student loans, you may qualify for a delayed or reduced payment program. Just remember, even though you don’t need to make payments now, interest will continue to accrue, and you will have to make up these amounts eventually. Contact your student loan servicer to find out more about your options.
Help is on the way
The federal government just passed its emergency stimulus package that provides a wealth of resources for almost every American. The $1,200 payment to each tax payer (or at least those who make under $75,000), and $500 credit for each dependent child are getting the headlines, but there are many more benefits to individuals and small businesses.