Are you looking forward to the holiday season but worried about all of the expenses that come along with it? From gift giving to get-togethers to travel costs, the holidays may begin taking a serious toll on your pocketbook. And while most credit union members are cost-conscious consumers, always shopping around and looking for the best deals, the winter season can still be financially stressful. Luckily, your credit union wants to make your holiday season a happy and festive one. Holiday Skip-A-Payment programs are one way that many credit unions are helping members minimize worry and maximize joy this season.
During November, December and January, credit unions around the country are offering members the opportunity to Skip-A-Payment on one or more qualifying loans. Credit unions appreciate their members and are extending these offers as gifts of sorts, a way of saying ‘thank you’ for your business and support throughout the year.
Community 1st Credit Union (Ottumwa, IA) members have the option to skip December’s loan payment and extend the term of the loan they skip by an additional month. “In order to be eligible for the skip-a-payment program, loans must have at least a 90-day satisfactory payment record,” explains Anne Hagen, Marketing Manager. Members simply complete an application and return to their local branch or send it via email.
Community 1st has offered their Skip-A-Payment program for several years. Hagen says that Members are always in need of a little extra cash during the holidays to help purchase gifts, pay for unexpected expenses, travel or even give more to charities. “We are ‘people helping people’ and this is just another example of how we can go the extra mile for our members.”
Cabrillo Credit Union (San Diego, CA) also offers Skip-A-Payment on vehicle and personal loans every December. “It's our Christmas gift to our members,” says Toby G. Hayes, Vice President of Marketing. “It allows our members to free up some holiday cash to spend on holiday needs, alleviates some of their holiday stress and helps them concentrate on the spirit of the season without incurring more debt elsewhere during the holidays.”
Once Cabrillo members have made their November payment, the offer appears in their home banking account and they simply complete the process electronically. This way the credit union can ensure it's an option the member truly wants to take advantage of. “We're here to help our members with their financial needs, not to stand in their way -- while most Americans will go into more debt for their holiday needs, we want to help our members by freeing up some of their obligations for the holidays,” contends Hayes.
Likewise, Rivermark Credit Union (Beaverton, OR) is helping members brighten their holidays by skipping payments in November or December on a variety of loan products. David Noble, Marketing Leader, says the credit union’s Holiday Skip-A-Payment is a simple, convenient way for members to have a little extra cash during the holiday.
O Bee Credit Union’s (Tumwater, WA) Skip-A-Pay program not only helps members free up some extra cash for themselves during the holidays, but also gives them an opportunity to help the community. “While we allow our members to skip up to three loan payments in a year for just $25.00 per payment skipped, twice a year we use some of the funds acquired from this unique program to help support local charities,” explains Lee Wojnar, VP of Marketing. For every $25.00 the credit union receives, $10.00 is donated to local charities in need.
The Skip-A-Pay option is a tool O Bee CU has been offering their membership every year for the past 10 years, to use if they need it. Members can free up funds to pay down other debt that may have accrued over the holidays or during some life-changing event. Instead of missing a payment, Wojnar says this is a great alternative without hurting one’s credit score while helping the community and local non-profits at the same time.
If you’re looking for a way to increase cash flow and decrease stress this holiday season, look to your credit union for Skip-A-Payment offers. Check out their newsletter, website, and social media for details. Not a member? Find a credit union in your area and make the holidays even happier this season!By Cyndi Cohen