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America finds itself right in the middle of multiple cultural touchpoints in 2020, including a global pandemic, national protests, and a white-hot contested presidential election. 

A direct result? The financial health of our country is suffering as tens of millions of Americans are out of work or furloughed, fighting to locate that next job or source of income. 

As uncertainty and financial stress increase, so must credit unions’ assistance, financial mentorship, and support. This movement suggests significant implications for credit union members’ post-pandemic trust and loyalty in their financial institutions. Gallup Research consistently finds what members want most from their credit union is active support on behalf of their financial health. 

Before and during this age of COVID-19, that message has failed to consistently get through to the unbanked, especially to communities of color. When supportive community financial institutions like credit unions are not available or don’t promote the products that enable steady financial health in specific neighborhoods, the economically disadvantaged resort to readily available predatory lending services, making it extremely difficult to nurture any sense of financial health.

Take North Minneapolis, where an over-abundance of predatory lending businesses represent the only form of “financial services” one can find. When the economic crisis hit in 2008-2012, the financial health of the working poor and people of color suffered; they lost their homes to subprime loans and unaffordable financial products and services sold to them by unscrupulous providers.

COVID-19 has left many Americans without financial stability.
Photo: Candid_Shots

3 Keys to Helping Credit Union Members Find Financial Health During COVID-19

How can credit unions support economically disadvantaged and distressed individuals around the country during COVID-19 while building and nurturing trust and loyalty with those members? That same Gallup study found three needs members (and future members) want their credit union to address:

  • Increase credit union member peace of mind.

Provide your membership with the consistent support they need to make it through the COVID-19 crisis. Nearly half of Americans, 48 percent, worry about paying their bills on time, while 41 percent worry about emergency savings. Credit unions have the products and services members need to ease their financial stress and increase financial health. 

  • Consistently build hope among credit union members.

Help your members build a routine around their financial health and work with them to set goals. Remember, many newer credit union members have rarely, if ever, taken care of a bank account, much less set financial health goals. Your mentorship and investment in paving their road to financial wellness will pay long-term dividends for the credit union.

  • Reduce members’ unwarranted stress.

A critical need for any credit union executive is to make it easy for members to find access to staff and resources when they need them. Timeliness and accessibility to tools and financial products is essential to building trust and loyalty. Because of fundamental change in our daily lifestyle, members are flocking to digital banking, with credit unions leveraging fintech to grow further business development opportunities. Such technology offers members the safety of conducting business from a distance, while taking consistent steps to improve financial health.

QCash Financial’s digital small-dollar lending product is designed to help strengthen the financial future of individuals and families across the country. Community members are fighting multiple fronts in the battle against COVID-19, unemployment, and social unrest. QCash Financial is proud to provide credit unions with the helpful small-dollar lending tools necessary to protect your community’s financial health through the pandemic and beyond. If your credit union would like to view a demonstration of our fully configurable, SaaS-based small-dollar lending platform, just go to our QCash Financial Product Demo page and fill out the form!