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Credit unions keep operating through COVID-19

Baihly Warfield
Updated: March 27, 2020 10:46 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - Like so much business these days, local credit unions have moved transactions that are traditionally done face-to-face to the drive-through or the internet. 

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"Our lenders are closing loans through the drive-through," Trina Hoff, president and CEO of Northern Communities Credit Union, said. 

Members Cooperative Credit Union is having a similar experience. They recently launched video banking, which is proving popular, according to Marketing Director Lara Wilkinson.

"They can actually work one-on-one with our staff in-person," Wilkinson said. "We can't shake your hand, but they can still take out loans, they can open new accounts, they can help people learn how to use online banking."

Both institutions say there isn't really anything people can't do right now. 

"We're able to serve our members just as we would on any other given day," Hoff said. 

People can deposit checks through mobile banking, take out loans online, and pay bills through an app or website. 

"You can still access your money and do the same kinds of things you've always been doing. You just need to be a little bit more savvy about it," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson encourages people to pick up the phone and call with any questions. She said a frequently asked one lately is if people's money is safe at a credit union. She says, "Absolutely." 

"It's much safer to leave your money in your financial institution than it is to take it home and put it in a drawer," she said. "So we don't want people to panic, and we want them to know that yes, your money is safe. You don't have to worry about that." 

Just like banks are insured through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC, credit unions are through the National Credit Union Administration or NCUA. 

However, Trina Hoff does want people to be vigilant. 

"Scammers thrive on fear and isolation and uncertainty," Hoff said. "If we reach out to you, we will never ask for confidential information such as your password, personal identification number, or any other account information."

Again, she says to call if you have questions or concerns. 

The drive-throughs at both NCCU and MCCU are open during regular business hours.

Credits

Baihly Warfield

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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