We Make a Difference | Financial Services
Posted: October 2, 2019
As a Financial Services Specialist at WESTconsin Credit Union I assist our members with their consumer lending needs – be they loans, credit cards, or Ready Reserve lines of credit. And yes, I feel good when I can help a member get into the car, truck, or camper they always wanted, or obtain the security of revolving credit for emergency need situations. But one of the unique ways that WESTconsin is able to Make A Difference in the lives of our members is by the Payment Protection products and services we offer.
In 2018, Payment Protection assisted our members by making monthly loan and credit card payments totaling $1,622,125.67. These were payments made toward our member’s obligations who faced the loss of life of a loved one, a disability which limited their ability to earn income, a period of hospitalization, or the loss of a job. And when I consider that an average monthly loan payment runs between $300-500, it doesn’t take long to do the math and realize how frequently our members face such economic hardships, and that our Payment Protection is making thousands of monthly payments for our members. These payments assist our members during their times of financial hardship while simultaneously protecting the credit scores and financial wellbeing.
A common situation members face is a period of hospitalization or injury that prevents them from working. Many employers do offer short-term disability coverage, but often only in the range of 50-66% of regular income. Suddenly, household income is cut nearly in half, but the bills remain the same. Then, on top of all this, the medical bills start coming in. The potential financial damage is staggering. Yet when our members have chosen to have Payment Protection, they do not need to worry about their loan payments during their time of recovery. And our members are then able to use their available funds to help with doctor and medical bills, and to compensate for their decrease in income. And with their loan payments continuing to be made on time our members have been able to maintain positive payment history and not endanger their credit score and credit health.
At WESTconsin we seek to encourage all our members to build and maintain a solid savings safety net for times of emergency or unexpected expenses. Many of our members struggle in this area and are therefore not fully prepared to face the disruption of income that may happen with a medical issue, loss of life or loss of a job. By making Payment Protection available on our loan products, we can protect our members from financial harm when their safety net is not enough.
It is never fun to get the phone call from a member and to learn that there has been an accident, or a medical issue, or the loss of a job. I can hear in their voices the financial anxiety they suddenly feel. Yet how wonderful I feel when I can tell those who have chosen Payment Protection that their payments will be made, and I hear them take a deep breath knowing things will be okay.
Many financial institutions do not offer Payment Protection. WESTconsin does. We are Making A Difference in our member’s lives by the Financial Services we can provide. And that makes me feel great when I leave work every day, knowing that I have helped our members prepare and protect themselves for times of financial hardship.
Financial Services Specialist
Eau Claire Office
WESTconsin Credit Union