Life can be uncertain right now, not to mention downright stressful. Which is why the more we can help you with your financial life, and let you focus on keeping your family and loved ones healthy, the better.
Here are some tips and resources we’ve compiled, many available at your Credit Union, to help you stay financially secure.
- Don’t be shy. We are a phone call (800.877.2345) or web chat away (figfcu.org). We are your co-workers, friends and credit union member-family and want you to succeed financially. Here are some internal resources you might find helpful:
- Stay disciplined. Seek help of course with loan and other payments but as far as possible, budget tightly and try to pay off debt sooner than later. You might be given a loan extension, but this means you have more debt to pay off when things “return to normal.”
- Save and invest wisely. Now is a great time, if you can, to put a tax refund, work refund or stimulus bonus into a higher interest savings account. Every little bit helps – especially in the current uncertain economic climate. Even a buffer of a few weeks can make a difference. Your Credit Union has maintained its exceptional deposit rates despite downward market pressure (figfcu.org/savings).
- If you invest in the stock market – the two rules the experts are reiterating is 1) don’t panic (rush to buy or sell) and 2) plan. MarketWatch.com has some sound advice on this topic.
- Small businesses are especially vulnerable at this time, including our agent members. Our Branch Counselors and in-field experts for agents are ready to sit down with you and discuss your needs and plans.
- Now is a great time to stay on top of your finances, and our free Financial Wellness Check can help This relaxed, expert review of your financial circumstances/plans with a Branch Counselor can uncover straightforward opportunities to cut costs, earn more, and maintain/enhance your financial situation.
- Keep your guard up against scammers. In times like this, they play off our empathy and desire to help others. Be wary of unsolicited approaches to donate to charity; or approaches to help a friend, neighbor or even family member in supposed need. If you get contacted by email, text, or a third party on the phone, VERIFY. Validate a solicitation by going to a charity’s website, or calling a person or organization directly. Above all, don’t rush to take an action or click on a link. See our article on cyber threats for more information [hyperlink to cyber threat article]. If you suspect a scam might have compromised your accounts, contact us at 800.877.2345, or report to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP, 1-877-ID-THEFT, or online at www.ftc.gov.
- Plus, we all need more than just financial support in times of crisis. Social isolation and stress can take its toll. Be sure to reach out to friends and family (including your Credit Union family) for support. The CDC also has some dedicated resources:
- Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990 and TTY 1-800-846-8517, provides confidential counseling, referrals, and other support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Or text TalkWithUs to 66746
And above all remember our #1 tip. We are Farmers Family, so don’t hesitate to ask us for help and advice. Stay safe and well.