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Institutions Offer Financial Options During Coronavirus Outbreak

COVID-19 is affecting people's finances, especially gig-economy workers. (Koonsiri/Adobe Stock)
COVID-19 is affecting people's finances, especially gig-economy workers. (Koonsiri/Adobe Stock)
March 13, 2020

SEATTLE - Financial institutions are preparing for the economic impact of the new coronavirus. In Washington state, credit unions are offering services to help mitigate financial stress and the virus's effect on people's livelihoods.

Ann Flannigan, vice president for public relations with the Washington State Employee Credit Union, says it has emergency loans and free financial counseling for folks worried about paying their bills.

"If they have concerns, they should be reaching out to their financial institutions and see what options they may have for them before things get too dire," says Flannigan.

Other credit unions across the Evergreen State also are offering services during this outbreak. And major banks say they could offer assistance to customers facing hardships.

Flannigan says workers in the gig economy already are feeling the pain. She says her credit union is helping out an Uber driver in Kirkland who has seen a big drop in business.

"So we're making modifications to his loan payments so he can set up some smaller, more manageable payments since he's had a drop in his income," says Flannigan.

Financial institutions across the country are limiting the hours their branches are open in order to prevent spread of COVID-19, encouraging people to use online banking tools or contact them over the phone.

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Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA