Member Impact Stories: American 1, MERCO, and SkyPoint
The work we do with credit unions allows them to make real differences in the lives of their members and communities. This could be through CDFI certification or grant funding, assisting with business plans, product design, partnership creation or any of our other many services. And as part of this work, we get to hear the wonderful member impact stories that illustrate what credit unions are doing to unlock opportunities in the communities they serve. We will be highlighting some of these stories here.
American 1 Credit Union Helps Member Keep His Loans Protected and Affordable
An American 1 member service rep recounts: “I had a member looking for a car loan, while also in the process of refinancing his house. His mortgage lender specifically told him to keep his new car payment under $400/month. In the past, this member had always chosen to protect his loan with Life and GAP coverage, but the best payment we could get him was $398/month with no protection products. I assured him I would do my best to help him not lose the protection on his loan.
“I was able to request a rate exception for his term so he could keep the protection products on his loan. This member told his mortgage lender about our GAP policy during this process and the lender adamantly told him to get our GAP as it was too good a deal to pass up. This member walked away happy, had a payment amount that his mortgage lender was okay with, and he got to keep his loan protection.”
A Member Keeps Her Car Thanks to MERCO Credit Union’s Flexibility
Two years ago, a member was part of a married couple with two full incomes and a car financed through MERCO Credit Union. Now, she’s a 36-year-old single mother with her work reduced to part-time because of COVID-19—a steep drop in income. Over the course of 2020, the credit union provided her with two 2-month "skip-a-payment" options, waiving the usual fee due to the pandemic. In December, MERCO also modified her auto loan, reducing her payment and waiving the standard loan-to-value requirements but maintaining the same interest rate, even though her credit score declined. The difference in the monthly amount wasn’t significant to the credit union, but the combination of payment skips and refinancing allowed her to pause her car payments for about 6 months, meaning the world to her. The newly single mother was able to keep her car to get to the work that she held onto. While many other institutions might have repossessed her car, MERCO worked with this member to help her stay on track.
SkyPoint FCU Keeps a COVID-19 Health Crisis from Becoming a Financial Crisis
A member of SkyPoint FCU lost his job and then temporarily his health, due to COVID -19. The credit union allowed him to skip four months of payments on his personal loan, and he was granted six months of reduced payments on his credit card—from 2% of the balance for his minimum to 1% for six months—until he could resume employment and make regular payments.