During the coronavirus pandemic, The People’s Federal Credit Union has been there to help its members and communities. Kenja Purkey, marketing director with The People’s Federal Credit Union, explains that the credit union contributes to the communities it serves as much as possible, whenever possible.
“As a credit union, we are helping our members of moderate means get their first car loans, their first home loans, or save to go to college,” Purkey said. “We also donate money to all sorts of amazing nonprofits in our community and support their missions. We teach financial literacy in our local schools. We also give time off to our employees to volunteer, helping the causes they are passionate about and empower our members and employees to get involved and give back to our community.”
Through its many community efforts, safety measures, and payment assistance programs, The People’s FCU demonstrates this year’s International Credit Union Day theme, “Inspiring hope for a global community.”
Following are some of the steps the credit union has taken during the coronavirus pandemic.
The People’s FCU lobbies reopened in June, implementing social distancing, including allowing only a limited number of members inside the lobby and using floor stickers to mark six feet between individuals.
To further ensure safety, the organization installed plexiglass barriers at the teller line, reception area, and at many employee desks. Additionally, the credit union provides sanitation stations, curbside service, electronic signatures for loan documents, a virtual branch, and a mobile app.
In addition to the safety measures taken by individuals and businesses, Purkey discusses how COVID-19 has highlighted commonalities across the globe. “I think the pandemic has really shown us that we are all more connected than we ever thought,” she said. “Though we may speak different languages and live in different countries, we are all going through some of the same things and have the same worries. We are much more alike than different. And I hope that’s something we continue to remember as we emerge from the pandemic in the future.”
Additional actions the credit union adopted to help members make ends meet during the pandemic include the following.
For those impacted by COVID-19 with job losses or reduced working hours, The People’s FCU may suspend or reduce mortgage payments and waive late fees based on the member’s circumstances.
If members don’t have the funds to pay their bills, the credit union offers quick cash relief loans to help them pay their bills with low-interest rates and low monthly payments.
For members worried about their car, motorcycle, truck, boat, or RV payments, the organization extended one rate loan refinancing with rates starting at 2.45% APR. These refinancing loans were available through June 30.
For qualifying members, the Texas-based credit union offers loan deferments for 60 days, with extensions, if necessary, for various loan products. During the deferment, no payments are required; all late fees are waived; and there are no repossessions or foreclosures initiated for at least 30 days after the deferral period.
Qualifying members may be able to skip a payment on their MasterCard monthly bill and have their late fees waived. This program is a month-to-month program, where members requalify each month to skip a payment.
Purkey stresses the importance of credit unions’ cooperative model. “I think that like all credit unions, our cooperative model where we all pool our money together to offer lower rate loans and higher rate dividends for members, is definitely an inspiration to the global community,” she said. “We’re not the mega-rich; we’re just normal everyday people who pool our resources for the good of the credit union and help ourselves and others along the way. Other countries look at that and are inspired to do the same.”
Employees from The People’s FCU volunteer at Eveline Rivers, wrapping Christmas packages for underprivileged kids. Pictured from left are Wendy Wilson, HR manager; Heather McKinnon, junior loan officer; Summer Baker, office services manager; Elena Martinez, member services representative; Scott Kuhn, collections; Brittni Anderwald, mortgage loan officer; and Chelsea Smith, branch supervisor.
The People’s FCU employees pick corn for the High Plains Food Bank. Pictured from left are Chelsea Smith, branch supervisor; Brandi Judd, operations manager; Brittni Anderwald, mortgage loan officer; Destiny Osburn, loan processor (in front crouched down); Scott Kuhn, collections; and Lauren Cooprider, vault/head teller.