People Helping People Spotlight: STCU Steps Up with Low-Interest Storm Loans

November 17, 2015 blew in the worst storm people in the Spokane area can remember. Property damage was extensive. Hundreds of thousands of people were without power—some for as long as a week. The loss was overwhelming.

STCU approved a low cost emergency loan program immediately—and 200 consumers took them up on the offer. The result: more than a million dollars in loans to repair damaged roofs and fences, remove fallen trees, purchase generators, replace spoiled food and pay for temporary housing.

Just one day after the storm, the $2.1 billion asset sized, 146,000 member credit union’s staff began talking about the best way to help those affected, according to David Flood, VP/Lending.

“One of our colleagues suggested an unsecured emergency loan at a low rate. We met that morning and within a couple minutes decided to move forward and we had it ready to go by the end of the day,” he said.

STCU’s marketing team also had to move fast to get the word out about the “Get-it-Fixed” loan offer. Radio spots written by the STCU staff noted that “ a storm can rattle your world and your finances.”

Interest rates on the personal loans were as low as 1.99% annual percentage rate. Collateral was not required, Flood said, and the loan simply had to be used for storm related damage. Credit union members and non members were welcomed to apply.

Applications were accepted through Dec. 18 to give homeowners a chance to see what expenses would be covered by insurance and where they’d need help filling financial gaps. STCU approved more than 221 loans, with amounts ranging from $300 to $20,000.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

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