4 Ways Credit Unions Are Building Community during the Pandemic
Now more than ever, people are looking for a sense of belonging. In times of uncertainty, the public is looking toward the experts to lead the way. Credit unions have a role to fill when it comes to financial health, as well as a sense of community. Here’s why members are leaning on local credit unions rather than national institutions during the pandemic to fulfill both their financial and social well-being.
It’s easy to feel helpless during a disaster of this scale. But instead of focusing efforts globally, credit unions are uniquely suited to assess the financial needs of its community based on school closures, job disruptions, and health risks. That way, those who can afford to lend a hand have an outlet in which to do so, and those who need financial assistance can receive it on a local level.
Even though credit unions were built on person-to-person relationships, credit unions are now finding ways for members to connect online. Whether through a simple chat function or a more organized yet moderated Facebook group, members are able to reach out to each other to find out what the more immediate needs and questions are that need to be addressed. In addition to products and services that the credit union can provide directly, members may be able to help identify the greatest financial risks and explore whether members can help each other address them.
Credit unions can let members know they care by providing payment holidays and temporary relief; offering resources, financial fitness tools, and helplines; and inform members about any government relief programs or federal-level loans. Credit unions can also make it easier to open new accounts or apply for loans via an app or online banking, if not already done.
Credit unions can use the power of social media, email newsletters, and their websites to promote any and all changes made during this time when there is so much unknown. In addition, encourage members to migrate their financial activities to digital platforms by showing them the benefits and conveniences of online banking, while also offering help navigating these digital banking and digital lending tools. What’s more, use those same online tools to share pandemic-adjacent advice, like how to stick to a budget.