The past several weeks have certainly been tense – from empty grocery store shelves, to school and business closures, to stay-at-home orders -- there is very little that feels normal right now. And while we’re all working hard to safeguard our families and our health, it’s important to not lose sight of sound financial practices.
Bellco Credit Union offers these tips and resources for peace of mind when it comes to your finances during an uncertain time.
1.Safeguard your financial assets.
You may be feeling an impulse to withdraw cash from your bank accounts. However, credit unions and banks are the most secure places to keep your money because they are insured by federal agencies and depending upon the type of account you have, your money continues to earn interest.
Still concerned? Check your financial institution’s Bauer Financial Star Ratings to get an idea of its soundness and stability.
Finally, if you are experiencing financial challenges due to COVID-19 and the impact it’s had on you or your family, talk with your financial institution about your options. Most are offering some kind of loan deferment during this crisis.
2.Protect yourself against fraud.
Unfortunately, in times of uncertainty, there are people who take advantage of fear to create scams. Whether through a fake charity, or a fake storefront offering supplies or treatments, scammers will try to get you to share your personal information. The FTC provides the following advice:
•Don’t click on website links from sources you don’t know
•Don’t provide any sensitive information to anyone you didn’t initiate contact with
•Be wary of emails claiming to be from the CDC with updates on COVID-19 – they do not send emails, instead, they provide updates on their website
•Ignore online offers for vaccinations and breakthrough cures
•The Securities and Exchange Commission also warns about fake investment opportunities for products related to the virus
3.Protect your health.
Today, most banks and credit unions have closed their lobbies and are offering drive-up banking. In addition, almost all financial institutions have online and/or mobile banking platforms to make banking easy for you to stay home to protect you and your family’s health. If you are not familiar with the online banking options from your financial institution or if you need help setting up online banking, contact your bank or credit union via phone. Bellco Credit Union, for example, is proactively reaching out to its members who have never used online banking to help them set it up so that they stay safe.
Bellco hopes that following these tips can help you feel more at ease during this time and allow you to focus on your health and wellbeing in an ever-changing situation. Bellco Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA.