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Banks Respond to Covid-19

A Light in the Dark

For all of those that have been financially impacted by COVID-19, below is a list of some of the largest lending institutions and banks that have already released statements and programs to help those affected. We have pulled this list together attempting to help you make the best decision to help you and your families. We implore you to communicate with your creditors in times like these and specifically ask how this will be reported to the credit bureaus. Most companies are addressing this in their press releases. If you are unsure or have a question, please reach out we are happy to assist you in understanding how the choice will impact your credit score. 816-994 -4600

FDIC website consumers’ frequently asked questions about the impact of COVID-19 on their banking relationships.

Ally

On March 18, Ally shared measures it will implement to offer relief to those experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s how the bank is offering assistance:

  • Ally is waiving all fees related to expedited checks and debit cards, overdrafts and excessive transactions on savings and money market accounts until July 16, 2020.
  • Auto loan payments can be deferred for up to 120 days. No late fees will be charged, but finance charges will accrue. New auto customers will have the option to defer their first payment for 90 days.
  • Mortgage payments for existing customers can be deferred for up to 120 days. No late fees will be charged, but interest will accrue.

Ally is strongly encouraging customers to utilize its online self-service access and the Ally mobile apps, to avoid longer call wait times. Customers can continue to transfer money and make payments online as usual. For depositing of checks of $50,000 or less, it’s faster to deposit them online via the mobile app than to submit by mail.

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For more information and updates, visit Ally’s coronavirus help page.

Bank of America

Bank of America emailed information to Forbes about potential measures it is ready to take in response to the coronavirus:

“We continue monitoring the developments of coronavirus and are always prepared to support our clients facing financial hardship or loss of income due to illness. All employees who work directly with our clients are trained to identify and assist impacted clients and provide the right support to address their unique personal needs. As part of our regular practice, we offer assistance to qualifying consumer and small business clients facing hardships, including forbearance with certain fees.”

A video has been added to Bank of America’s coronavirus help page to explain the additional assistance the bank is providing to clients and small businesses.

On March 19, Bank of America announced additional support that will be provided, working on a case-by-case basis, including:

  • For consumer and small business deposit accounts, clients can request refunds of overdraft, insufficient funds and monthly maintenance fees.
  • Clients can request to defer payments and refunds of late fees on their small business loans.
  • On auto loans, personal loans, mortgages and home equity loans, clients can request deferral of payment, with those payments added to the end of the loan. So long as clients are up to date, no negative credit bureau reporting will be made.

Clients facing financial hardships related to the coronavirus are encouraged to visit Bank of America’s coronavirus help page and contact the client services team.

Capital One

In an email to customers on March 12, Capital One encouraged them to access their accounts with the bank’s digital banking tools, including online and app access.

Customers facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus are urged to contact the bank directly through one of its many customer support lines. At its website, Capital One encourages customers who may be impacted or need assistance to reach out so that the bank can help find a solution.

Capital One tells Forbes that all customers will be eligible for assistance, of which will vary on the type of product they have and their individual needs. Examples of assistance include:

  • Minimum payment assistance
  • Deferred loan assistance
  • Fee suppression
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For more information and updates, visit Capital One’s coronavirus help page.

Chase

Chase says it will “continue to adapt” to the changing coronavirus situation. Effective March 19, Chase temporarily closed approximately 20% of its branches to help ensure the safety of customers and employees. In addition to its nearly 4,000 branches that will remain open, Chase encourages customers to utilize the tools available on the Chase mobile app and at chase.com.

Individuals who are affected by COVID-19 and need help with their accounts are encouraged to call the number on the back of their credit or debit card, or on the back of their monthly statement. In an email to Forbes, Chase detailed what this help could potentially look like, but explains that, as of right now, it’s being addressed on a case-by-case basis.

“We are helping customers who contact us, as we always do and notably did during hurricanes and wildfires in years past. Things we’ve done for customers (and small businesses) in past crises include things like fee waivers or refunds, changing due dates, extending credit lines. Sometimes, if there’s been a government-designated area (like for a Hurricane), we will proactively waive certain fees. We’re not there yet with this, of course. We’re working with our customers on a case-by-case basis right now.” 

For more information and updates, visit Chase’s coronavirus help page.

Citibank

Effective March 9 for an initial 30 days, Citibank customers can contact the bank for assistance with:

  • Waivers on monthly service fees, for both regular and small business customers
  • Waived penalties for early CD withdrawal, for both regular and small business customers
  • Fee waivers on remote deposit capture for small business customers
  • Bankers available after hours and on weekends to support small business customers
  • Some credit card customers may be eligible for credit line increases and collection forbearance programs.
  • Some mortgage customers may be eligible for a hardship program through Cenlar FSB, the bank’s service provider. For assistance, call Cenlar FSB at 855-839-6253 (Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m. ET or Sat, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. ET).
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For more information and updates, visit Citibank’s coronavirus help page.

Discover

Discover’s coronavirus help page says there is “support in place” for qualified Discover customers who experience hardship as a result of the outbreak.

Online banking customers can reach out to Discover’s 100% U.S.-based Customer Service team for help by calling 1-800-347-7000 (TTY/TDD 1-800-347-7454) at any time.

For more information and updates, visit Discover’s coronavirus help page.

Fifth Third Bank

The bank initially provided a written statement to Forbes about how it’s monitoring the situation, and actions it could put into effect. Since, the company has created a coronavirus help page, detailing similar information.

“We are focused on the safety of our employees and customers, and ensuring business continuity. This work includes ensuring that critical functions continue in the event of any disruption, with policies, people and processes aligned to provide continuous service. We are not starting from scratch on these plans. Fifth Third Bank has long had comprehensive plans and strategies in place to manage effectively through emergencies—these include hardship programs for our customers. We are well prepared, and we continue to monitor this situation from every level of our organization.”

Fifth Third adds that if circumstances require temporary closure of any of its branches, customers will be notified and informed about backup physical locations. Fifth Third accounts also can be accessed via the bank’s digital banking tools including mobile, online and voice banking services.

“Fifth Third’s focus on helping customers improve their lives and building stronger communities is more relevant than ever during these times of uncertainty,” said Greg D. Carmichael, Fifth Third chairman, president and CEO. “We take our role and responsibility seriously to understand and put our customers’ needs first. We are continually evaluating our programs to assist our customers. Last week, we announced several proactive measures that we are taking across our business and consumer products to help lessen the financial strain on our customers, and we are providing additional details on these programs today. Our goal is to stand with our customers to help them and our communities get back on their feet. We are here to help our customers when they need us most.”

Fifth Third is offering the following programs for our consumer and business customers facing financial hardship related to COVID-19. To participate in the programs, customers will need to contact Fifth Third.

  • Vehicle Payment Waiver Program: Payment waived for up to 90 days and no late fees during the waiver period.
  • Consumer Credit Card Payment Waiver: We are offering to waive the monthly payment requirement on Consumer Credit Cards (Trio, Truly Simple, Platinum, Secured, World Elite) for up to 90 days with no late fees.
  • Mortgage and Home Equity Program: 90-day payment forbearance with no late fees.
  • Small Business Payment Waiver Program: We are offering a payment waiver program for up to 90 days, no late fees and a range of loan modification options. We are waiving all note processing fees for new Fifth Third Fast Capital loans for six months.
  • Fee Waiver Program: Fee waivers for up to 90 days for a range of consumer and small business deposit products and services.
  • Vehicle loans: Suspension of initiating any new repossession actions on vehicles for the next 60 days.
  • Foreclosures: Suspension of all foreclosure activity on homes for the next 60 days.

Customers should call Fifth Third to participate in these relief efforts. In addition, customers are reminded that interest will accrue during the 90-day no-payment period for each of the waiver programs.

For more information and updates, visit Fifth Third Bank’s coronavirus help page.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs initially shared information with Forbes about its efforts to help customers experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus.

Customers with personal loans through Marcus by Goldman Sachs can postpone payments on their loans for one month with no interest, and their loan terms will be extended by one month. For customers who need access to funds currently held in certificates of deposit prior to maturity, Marcus is waiving early withdrawal penalties.

As of this time, Marcus by Goldman Sachs is operating its contact centers virtually. The temporary hours of operation are Mon–Fri, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. ET and Sat–Sun, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. ET. Customers can call 1-844-MARCUS-6 (1-844-627-2876) and may expect to experience unusually long hold times.

For more information and updates, visit Marcus by Goldman Sachs’ coronavirus help page.

PNC Bank

PNC’s website says it will be helping customers “navigate potential financial hardships” because of the coronavirus. In an email to Forbes, the bank encourages customers encountering hardship to reach out to the bank directly; assistance will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Customers affected by the virus who are encountering hardship can call 1-888-762-2265 (Mon-Fri 7 a.m.–10 p.m. ET or Sat-Sun 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET) to discuss options.

PNC adds that the bank will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation “to determine potential extension or expansion of available assistance,” and customers will be notified of any developments as they arise.

Effective March 20, PNC has made temporary adjustments that include operating primarily via drive-up only (except branches that do have have drive-up), and PNC estimates that three quarters of its branch network will remain open. Open branches are operating on reduced hours, offering designated days for “essential appointments,” such as safe deposit box access, loan closings or other in-person services.

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For more information and updates, visit PNC’s coronavirus help page.

Truist

Truist (formerly BB&T and SunTrust banks) says it’s committed to working with clients “to reduce financial stress during this challenging and uncertain time.” The bank is also encouraging individuals to use its digital and mobile banking options.

Effective March 21, most branches will remain open with “modified service” including ATMs, drive-through, and consultations in the branch by appointment.

Customers experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus will be provided payment relief on consumer loans, personal credit cards, business credit cards and business loans. The bank is also temporarily waiving ATM surcharge fees to help consumers and businesses access cash. Customers who use their BB&T and SunTrust credit cards for qualifying purchases at grocery stores and pharmacies will receive 5% cash back through April 15.

Customers in need of assistance can reach out to the following numbers:

  • Heritage SunTrust clients: 800-SUNTRUST (800-786-8787)
  • Heritage BB&T clients: 800-226-5228

For more information and updates, visit Truist’s coronavirus help page.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is encouraging customers to utilize its digital banking features, including its mobile app, online banking or banking by phone.

On its coronavirus help page, U.S. Bank says it is “actively looking for ways to assist our customers that have been financially impacted by COVID-19” and suggests several products that may be of help. Customers who need additional support are invited to call 888-287-7817.

Effective March 19, U.S. Bank has temporarily reduced its hours of operation in all branches and is encouraging the use of drive-up services rather than lobby services.

For more information and updates, visit U.S. Bank’s coronavirus help page.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo customers experiencing hardship from the coronavirus disease can call 1-800-219-9739 to speak with a trained specialist about their options. This includes customers of consumer lending, small business and deposit products. Details on what type of assistance might be available have not been released but are likely determined on a case-by-case basis.

Effective March 20, Wells Fargo is temporarily closing some branches and adjusting operating hours of branches. Customers are encouraged to utilize drive-up, rather than lobby, services when possible.

Wells Fargo also has suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary auto repossessions.

For more information and updates, visit Wells Fargo’s coronavirus help page.

 

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Article by Bo Thomas

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