Vancity today announced it is temporarily cutting credit card interest rates to 0%, and deferring minimum payments, for those facing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.
Vancity personal and business credit card holders who need to defer a payment due to the impacts of the pandemic, will be offered payment deferrals of up to six months at a 0% interest rate. Eligible cardholders affected by COVID-19 can call Vancity to request this relief program.
The cutting of its credit card interest rate to 0% follows a number of supports Vancity has been offering credit cardholders impacted by COVID-19. Before today’s announcement, Vancity has been working on a case-by-case basis with affected business and individual cardholders to offer solutions, such as lower credit card interest rates and tailored payment plans.
In addition to temporarily dropping credit card interest rates to 0%, Vancity is working with its members to defer loans, such as mortgages, for up to six months for those impacted by the COVID-19 situation. Vancity members affected by COVID-19 do not pay extra penalties when they need financial support. When Vancity defers members’ loans, interest is accrued only on the balance of the loan; it does not compound interest on interest during the deferral period. So far, Vancity has approved 97% of the 4,000 loan deferral requests it has processed.
In a move designed to make it easier for people to do their banking without visiting a branch, on March 18 Vancity also waived a number of fees for its members, including for INTERAC e-Transfer® and ATMs in Canada. Vancity initially announced it would waive these fees until April 30, 2020. Today it is announcing it will extend that period until September 30, 2020. The credit union has also set up a dedicated telephone banking line for small business members and for seniors aged 65 and older.
Vancity is supporting relief programs provided by the Government of Canada such as the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, by helping members set up direct deposit so they can receive their benefits as quickly as possible. Vancity is also working with the government to support small and medium-sized businesses through the Canada Emergency Business Account and Business Credit Availability Program.
Quote from Tamara Vrooman, Vancity’s President and Chief Executive Officer:
“Vancity has been working from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the financial needs of our members and help them through these uncertain and difficult times. As we’ve been doing that, we’re seeing the impact this situation is having, through no fault of their own, on people’s credit cards.
“Having access to credit for things like online grocery buying is vital for many families. Whether it be credit cards or something else, I’d encourage any of our members who are facing financial concerns to contact us. We’re here for you and will work to identify the supports that can help,” Tamara continued.
To find out more about the financial supports Vancity has in place for members impacted by COVID-19, please visit vancity.com/COVID19-CreditCard