Financial Wellness

Banking to Fit Your Life

At DCCU, we're committed to helping our members save and grow their finances the smartest way possible. As current events continue to unfold, we want you to be prepared to face tomorrow's challenges with the best financial resources possible. Below are a few products that may help you navigate your immediate financial needs, as well as longer-term plans:

We're in this together!

Managing Your Finances During An Economic Crisis

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic may be causing significant financial hardships and that every situation is unique.  Our financial wellness team is here for you during this time. We have created a list of steps to take if you experience a loss of income: 

1: Prioritize Your Expenses 

  • Make a list of all your expenses.
  • Go through your list and identify your essential expenses. Paying for shelter should always be first priority followed by food. 
  • Go through each expense and make a note of any payments you can delay or due dates you can change.
  • Review your living expenses and eliminate the things you can live without.
  • Identify and total all income sources and assets, such as savings, that may be able to get you through until you can resume working or replace your income.
  • Look for a temporary job. Companies that deliver food or provide essential services are hiring right now. 
  • You may also be able to save money on your debt by finding options to lower interest rates or reduce monthly payments. But be careful right now, scams are high. Learn more about ways you can avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

2: Draw On Your Assets, But With a Plan

  • Look to your “liquid” assets first, drawing on cash savings accounts and non-retirement investments. Working with your budget, determine how much you will need to draw to cover your basic expenses. Make a plan to pay back your savings when your income resumes.
  • Consider whether credit is a feasible option. Taking on credit card debt or personal loan debt will come with interest rates, fees, and a new monthly payment. Look for low-interest rates, low fees, and favorable terms; and plan for what a new monthly payment will mean to your budget. Be ready with a payback plan in your budget, if you do decide to use credit to get you through an unexpected income loss. The faster you pay off interest-bearing debt, the less you will spend on interest and fees.
  • If you have retirement savings, you may be able to borrow against them or cash them out in times of financial hardship.  However, retirement accounts may be lower than expected due to the current market volatility so this might not be the best time to draw down retirement assets.  A loan is preferable to cashing out, but if you lost your job, a loan may not be available.  There may also be penalties up to 10% for cashing out a 401k before retirement age, and you may have to pay income taxes on any portion that you cash out. The CARES Act does provide relief for retirement plan distributions, but be sure to consult with a tax advisor before going this route. 
  • Cashing out retirement assets should be considered a last resort, especially to pay unsecured debt for which there are better options available.
  • Treat your use of your savings and other assets as a “loan” to yourself. Write a repayment plan into your budget as soon as you can replace income.  I know it’s hard to think much past today since the situation is changing rapidly, but do keep track of savings you are liquidating so you can rebuild them later.

3: Paying Housing Costs

  • If you can afford to make these payments, you should. They will eventually come due, and staying current will be much less stressful than falling behind. 
  • Check with your lender. Many are taking steps to provide support for homeowners. 
  • If you rent, check with your landlord to see what options you may have for delaying your monthly rent payments. 

4: Making Other Debt Payments

  • Be sure to stay in contact with your lenders and credit card companies. Many lenders are offering payment or debt relief options such as deferring payments and waiving late fees.
  • On March 20, 2020, it was announced that student loan payments can be placed in administrative forbearance. Please visit studentaid.gov/coronavirus for the most up to date information
  • Once you have created a plan, you might consider having a trusted family member or friend look it over. This may give you more confidence that you are making the right decisions for your situation

GreenPath

DCCU values our partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness. Our members may have many questions about managing their finances and we want to provide you with the best possible advice to help you navigate these times of uncertainty. 

GreenPath provides free financial counseling.  A GreenPath counselor will work with you to understand your personal financial situation and goals, help you develop a budget, and share ideas to help you get out of debt through a personalized action plan. GreenPath also offers services like debt management programs, housing, and student loan counseling.  Click here to take advantage of these valuable services

Note: In order to have access to some of GreenPath’s services, membership with DCCU is required.  Click here to learn more about opening an account with DCCU.

Fraud Prevention

The government has begun sending stimulus payments as part of the federal response to COVID-19, and criminals are hard at work attempting to defraud people of their money. No government agency will contact you and ask for your personal information and neither will DCCU. If you receive an email, phone call, or text message asking for this information, do not provide it.  If you receive a suspicious communication or believe you are a victim of a scam, contact the police in your area and DCCU at 800.245.8085.

Key Points to Remember Regarding Economic Impact Payments:

You will never have to click on links or “sign-up” to get your money.

  • Anyone asking for your personal information, like your Social Security Number, account number, or bank information is a scammer.
  • Be on the lookout for phishing emails, where scammers pretend to be from the government and ask for your information as part of the “sign-up” process for the checks.
  • Never click on links from sources you do not know.

You do not need to do anything to receive your stimulus payment.

  • The federal government has the information it needs to send your money. 
  • If you filed taxes for 2018 and/or 2019, the federal government will directly deposit the money into your account you used for your most recent tax filing. 
  • If you have not filed taxes recently or do not have an account setup to receive direct deposit, you have other options to receive your payment.  Visit the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments for more information
  • You can access your DCCU account number through Online Banking or the Mobile App by following one of the provided tutorials. You can also call our Service Center at 800.245.8085.

Click here for information about other common scams.


Be Aware of COVID-19 Scams

DCCU is aware of recent fraudulent activity related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Some of the latest scams prey on virus-related fears by offering free home testing kits, promoting bogus cures, selling high-demand items such as medical masks and cleaning supplies, and collecting charitable donations. We want you to be aware of some tactics they may use and provide ways you can help keep your finances and personal information safe.

Do not click on links from sources you do not know. 
Cyber criminals may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information.
FTC Article: How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams

Do not share your passwords.  
Never reveal your mobile or online banking password.   If someone asks for your password, do not share it. 
FTC Article: How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure

Do your research before donating. 
Do not let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, do not do it.
FTC Article: How to Donate Wisely and Avoid Charity Scams

Look out for investment scams.  
Be cautious of claims that a company’s products or services can help stop the coronavirus. 
SEC Article: Look Out for Coronavirus-Related Investment Scams

Use trusted sources for up-to-date information. 
Official government websites are the best sources of information:

Visit the Federal Trade Commission to learn what it is doing to protect consumers from Coronavirus scams.  

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