Know Your COVID-19 Resources
Life as we were used to it has changed drastically all across the world over the last several months. For some, these changes may feel sudden, as the public opinion and government reaction to it seem to have shifted overnight. Just over two weeks ago, on March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was officially characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
Use reliable sources to stay in-the-know about the latest news. The Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and Federal Emergency Management Agency are all official, government sources of data, including reported numbers. Your local news channels will also be covering the updates closer to home. Be wary of articles, graphics, and shared posts on social media that may be distributing misinformation. Many social platforms are ramping up their reporting features during this time to cut back on the spread of blatantly false information, so use a critical eye and report any that you see.
Know the symptoms of the virus and closely monitor them if you display any. These symptoms are known to have a mild start and increase in severity over time. According to WHO, the most common symptoms of the virus are fever, tiredness, and dry cough, though other patients report additional discomforts. Due to cold and flu season, as well as allergy season, you may experience an increase in similar, unrelated symptoms. If so, continue to monitor and seek medical attention if you experience shortness of breath, sustained fever, or worsening cough.
Many states and cities across the country have issued mandatory quarantine measures, ranging from closure of schools and non-essential businesses to shelter-in-place directives. Follow the instructions of your local county and limit outside exposure to only absolutely necessary errands, including grocery stores, pharmacies, and essential businesses.
Stress, boredom, and even grief are all normal reactions to these abrupt changes. Many Americans are now faced with spending their emergency funds to make ends meet with no definite answers in sight. Financial anxiety, among other anxieties, shakes the country. Before getting too caught up these thoughts, learn what tools are available to assist you.
Summary: Government Stimulus Package
On March 25, 2020, the Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus package to aid Americans and businesses impacted during the crisis. The National Conference of State Legislatures breaks down the more comprehensive highlights of the package. For the average American, this means that the government will send a direct payment to taxpayers. This one-time payment will be based on income reported on line 8b of your 2019 tax return if you have already filed — otherwise, it will be based on your 2018 tax return. For businesses, there will be a variety of SBA options to help business continuity efforts through payroll and working capital programs. If you are a business owner in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, those states have also established business loan support programs.
Individuals who earned $75,000 or less would get a direct payment of $1,200, while married couples who filed jointly will receive $2,400. An additional $500 will be given per dependent child. The payment phases out at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples. It’s currently unknown when these payments will be sent out to the public, but the Treasury Department is aiming for the next several weeks.
Summary: Unemployment Changes
Unemployment will also be bolstered during this time. The bill extends regular unemployment benefits to last an additional 13 weeks, lasting up to a maximum of 26 weeks in most states. Furthermore, the bill adds four months of $600 weekly payments in addition to the usual weekly unemployment checks. For the average worker, these benefits roughly equal a complete wage replacement.
For a more detailed list of assistance programs during this time, Benefits.gov has a frequently asked questions hub that can provide further information or links to state-specific applications and resources.
Summary: What American Heritage Credit Union is Doing
We stand by the philosophy of people helping people, especially in unprecedented circumstances like these.
For our members with Certificates or Certificate IRAs, we are waiving all early withdrawal fees for the time being. If you need to access funds that are currently in a Certificate, please give us a call.
We are waiving fees on the following: Foreign ATM transactions, minimum balance fees on Money Markets and High Yield Savings, and excessive withdrawal fees.
Eligible Credit Card, Home Equity Line of Credit, and Personal Line of Credit account holders are eligible to skip their April loan payment.*
Eligible Home Equity Loan, Personal Installment Loan, and Auto Loan account holders can skip both April and May monthly loan payment.*
We are waiving late payment fees on all American Heritage credit cards in March 2020, and late payment fees on American Heritage credit card, consumer loan, mortgage and commercial loan payments due in April 2020.
For first mortgage borrowers, a range of hardship programs are available from our servicing partner, Midwest Loan Services. You can contact them directly at 800.262.6574 to discuss your situation.
Our business and commercial loan borrowers can contact their loan officer or our commercial lending department directly. Additional information about business accounts can be found here.
Although our lobby hours have been curtailed, you can still see the smiling faces of our associates when you do your teller transactions at our PAT Machines. We were one of the very first credit unions to introduce interactive live teller machines. PAT is quickly growing more popular than ever and we’ve created a guide to get to know PAT better.
As we speak with our members, we are developing additional ways we can provide financial relief. As a member-owned credit union, we stand ready to serve you and will work as hard as possible to help you through these challenges.
As always, visit our updates page for our number one source of information and all-inclusive coverage of all we have to offer our members during this time.
*Not all loans may qualify. Offer good only for existing American Heritage accounts and loans in good standing. You may request a deferred payment for April loan payments by March 31, 2020 on Credit Cards, Home Equity Term Loans, Home Equity Lines of Credit, Personal Installment Loans, Personal Lines of Credit, and Vehicle Loans. You may request a deferred payment for May loan payments between April 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 on Home Equity Term Loans, Personal Installment Loans, and Vehicle Loans. If your American Heritage primary share or checking account does not have a positive balance, your Skip-A-Pay request on any loan will not be processed. Funds to process fee must be available at the time this request is submitted. If any of your American Heritage loans are 16 days or more past due, your Skip-A-Pay request on any loan will not be processed. Acceptance of this offer may extend the term of your loan. Your loan payment due date will be advanced 30 days for each skipped payment. Bi-weekly payments in the month of April or May constitute one monthly payment. For Mastercard, your April interest owed will be added to the regular minimum payment due the following month. Interest continues to accrue on your unpaid balance during the payment period skipped. Skip-A-Pay offer is made under the terms of disclosure given at time of loan disbursal. Non-Qualifying Loans: First Mortgage, Business Loans, Student Loans and Business Credit Cards. All members encouraged to contact us at 215-969-0777 to discuss hardship programs. Insured by NCUA, Equal Opportunity Lender.