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How NWCU Helps Members During a Financial Hardship

One of our core values at Northwest Community Credit Union is that “We are committed to our founders’ vision of honoring the dignity of each member we serve.”

Honoring the dignity of our members often comes into play when their livelihood is affected, as when the Springfield Plywood and Veneer mill burned down, or during a government shutdown.

Helping Those Affected by Layoffs

Recently, Georgia Pacific closed its mill located in Coos Bay, Oregon.

We knew immediately we needed to help.

One member*, who’s been with NWCU almost as long as he’s been employed at Georgia Pacific, was facing a layoff after 25 years. When he came into our North Bend branch, Member Service Specialist Angie stepped in.

“He has worked for Georgia Pacific for 25 years and recently found out that the Mill will be closed. This member is not sure exactly how everything will turn out, but wants to make sure his family is financially stable during this difficult transition,” Angie said.

She began to piece together ideas on ways we could help He brought copies of monthly bills, including a mortgage statement, and pay stubs; they could then review realistic options for his debt, his savings, and his retirement.

Additionally, they looked at options for him to sit with Ann, an investment advisor representative, to review his 401k currently with Georgia Pacific.

Angie explained, “He has a sizeable balance in his Money Market account and I shared that he could now be earning 1% annual percentage yield on funds due to having his current mortgage loan with us. We talked about the Level Up Northwest Savings account and how this might help. He expressed interested in moving his auto loan or refinancing all his debt into a home equity loan. Doing this would qualify for 2% APY on his savings.”

The member said, “It’s a lot to take in and I’m thankful for the credit union and their willingness to look at options to help me and my family.”

How NWCU Can Help You

Every member’s financial lives are different, so there is no one-size-fits-all suggestion. However, we’re happy to work with each member on what’s right for their financial well-being. Here are a few options you can consider during a difficult financial period.

Talk to someone. Giving us a call or coming in to a branch and having a conversation is your first step. Make sure to bring things like monthly bills; mortgage, loan, and credit card statements; and paycheck documentation (like a stub or printout). This will help our teams get a clear picture of your finances and see where changes can be made.

Use our BALANCE resources. BALANCE is a program that offers free financial education courses. We partner with them to offer their resources to our members for free, including debt and credit coaches and access to information about local and governmental resource programs.

Seek out payment extensions or loan modifications. This is where talking to someone comes in handy—we can help you figure out whether your loans at the credit union are eligible for a skip payment, or whether your loan can be modified for a short-term reduction in your payment.

Consider a short term loan. If you know your situation is going to be a short-term one, like a government shutdown, consider a short-term, low-interest loan to tide you over until your income resumes.

Pay down debt. If you’re making several payments on different bills every month, give us a call or meet with us. We can help look at your full financial picture and determine whether there are other options to pay down your debt and which ones are right for you.

The bottom line is that we’re here to help you. Give us a call at (800) 452-9515 or come into a branch, and let’s get started.

*This member’s name has been removed to protect his privacy.