Many Americans are being financially affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. As businesses close their doors to keep their customers and employees safe, thousands—if not millions—are facing several weeks of pay disruption and infrastructure shake up.
In response to the national emergency, consumers are feeling financially insecure and wondering what it means for their wallet.
What can you do to be financially responsible and vigilant during this time?
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) released five steps consumers should take to exercise financial caution in the face of a global pandemic:
- Contact Your Financial Institution
Credit unions from coast to coast are adjusting their operations to help stem the spread of coronavirus and protect members and employees. Make sure you’re up to date on the latest information on lobby closures, hours of operation, and drive-thru services and ATM access by contacting or visiting the website of your financial institution.
- Protect Your Data
Be vigilant about protecting your digital identity and personal data. If your credit union reaches out, they won’t ask for confidential information such as your name, password, personal identification number (PIN) or other account information. A recent report from NBC News notes that criminals are using COVID-19 as a basis for email attacks to snag personal information, steal money and infect computers with malware.
- Utilize Online and Mobile Services
You can easily deposit a check using your mobile device or quickly and securely send money to others with digital payments. Using credit or debit cards for payments is especially important now when we all are being asked to practice social distancing. You can still meet most of your obligations without leaving your home, thanks to your credit union.
- Research Local Financial Support
From Miami to Seattle, credit unions are extending low- and no-interest loans, offering fee-free loan deferrals, and finding other individualized solutions that help ensure those facing financial disruptions due to COVID-19 can keep the lights on, keep food on the table, and maintain a secure financial future once the country makes it through this public health emergency.
- Remember: Your Money is Safest in a Credit Union
There are a lot of things to worry about these days, but the safety of your money in your credit union account aren’t one of them. Your money is safer in your insured credit union than it is in your pockets or under your mattress. There is no risk to keeping money in your credit union account, but there are countless risks to holding cash, as pointed out in this Wall Street Journal piece.