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WA Credit Unions Assure Folks About Savings During Pandemic

Many vendors are  accepting only electronic forms of payment because of fears of COVID-19. (Anna Fedorova/Adobe Stock)
Many vendors are accepting only electronic forms of payment because of fears of COVID-19. (Anna Fedorova/Adobe Stock)
April 2, 2020

SEATTLE -- The coronavirus outbreak is wreaking financial havoc for many people.

But credit unions are assuring their members that their money is safe.

Rick Metsger, a native of the Northwest and former chair of the National Credit Union Administration, says COVID-19 has created a unique situation for people, but notes that it's different from other crises such as the 2008 recession, where the viability of financial institutions was in question.

"What's really important if you have savings in a credit union -- they're federally insured up to $250,000 and no one in history has ever lost a single penny of their federally insured savings at a credit union," he points out. "So that's the safest place right now for anyone to have their money."

Metsger says if folks withdraw cash and that cash is lost or stolen, it isn't insured. Also, many vendors are only taking electronic forms of payment over fears of further spreading the virus through paper money.

Metsger says credit unions are offering help, such as bridge loans, to people experiencing financial hardships. Folks also can consider restructuring their mortgages to help lower their financial anxieties.

Metsger stresses it's important for people to stay calm.

"While we are in uncertain times, this too will pass," he states. "And so, take stock of what your immediate needs are this month, next month, the next three months, and know that there are multiple options out there that your financial institution can help you with."

About 4.3 million Washingtonians are members of a credit union.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA