As you’re protecting your physical health during this time, it’s important to protect your financial health, too. We know that COVID-19 is already causing great financial hardship as people and their family members face business shut-downs, unemployment and medical bills. Even if your finances are stable, this is a time to be extra vigilant about saving money and protecting the security of your accounts.
Here we’re offering a list of financial tips and resources for individuals and small businesses. We welcome suggestions, and we’ll add more as they become available.
Resources for Individuals
- Use 211: Many localities have a "211" number available for residents to get reliable, up-to-date and local information on resources related to COVID-19. Find your local number here.
- Stay in touch with your financial institution: Make sure you’re up to date on current operations, hours, and more. You can stay up to date on what Self-Help Credit Union is doing on our coronavirus updates page or by following us on social media.
- Contact your lenders, utility service providers or landlord: Many creditors are offering relief options for loan payments, utility payments or rent. Contact yours to see how they might be able to help you.
- Apply for loan payment deferrals with SHCU: If you have an auto, personal or consumer loan with Self-Help Credit Union, you can apply to delay your loan payments with no credit penalty. Learn more.
- Be wary of scams: Don’t share personal information, usernames, PINs, or passwords with others. The FCC has tips on avoiding coronavirus scams.
- Apply for unemployment benefits: You can find links to your state's unemployment and workforce resources here.
- Learn about student loan forbearance options: The U.S. Department of Education has forbearance information for students, borrowers and parents.
- Avoid payday lenders: These lenders can be a trap for consumers. If you don't already have an account with a financial institution that has your best interests at heart, open one. Consider becoming a member with us, or finding another local credit union you might be eligible to join.
- Get help from a financial or housing counselor: Contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) here or at 833-746-7577. NFCC is a network of nonprofit credit counseling agencies.
- Take advantage of financial wellness resources: Check out Self-Help partner GreenPath. GreenPath is a nonprofit organization that offers many free resources around debt management, money management, financial counseling and more.
Resources for Small Businesses
- Apply for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan: This SBA loan program is designed to give businesses and nonprofits access to capital to cover payroll and other overhead costs. Self-Help is offering these loans to our current borrowers and tenants. If you are not a current Self-Help borrower or tenant, we encourage you to reach out to your primary business banking institution to ask about getting a PPP loan.
- Consider NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loans: A consortium of North Carolina organizations, including Self-Help, have come together to offer these loans for NC small businesses and family farms. These loans are intended to provide bridge financing until federal loans or other relief funds are available, or until your business recovers.
- Check out SBA resources: The SBA's COVID-19 Small Business Guidance page includes lots of resources, including information on government contracts, assistance with exports, access to capital and more.
- Apply for a Truist–NCIFund COVID-19 grant: NCIFund, a CDFI that operates in Appalachia and the Southeast, has partnered with Truist to offer $1 million in grants to small businesses. See here for details and to sign up for more information.
- Contact your insurance provider: Contact your insurance agent to determine whether your policy provides coverage for the impact to your business.
- Contact your lenders and landlords: Contact your lenders and landlords to discuss the options they may be able to offer. Self-Help is working with our borrowers to offer relief options, and many other financial institutions are doing the same.
- Check out online resources:
- The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke's Fuqua School of Business has created a searchable website with info on grants, loans and more around the world. See and search the site here: https://bit.ly/COVID19CapitalRelief.
- The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina has a helpful round-up of resources.
As the situation evolves, make sure you are getting information from reliable sources, like the CDC or your state's department of health.