Credit Union Offers Programs to Ease Economic Pain

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ATHENS, Ohio — Ohio University Credit Union members can now apply for a forbearance program where mortgage payments can be suspended or reduced for at least the next three months.

OUCU VP of Loan Services Danita Sharp

To help customers during the pandemic, OUCU implemented this and an array of other programs to reduce the financial burden on their customers. Some other programs include loan payment deferment, skip-a-pay fee waiver and emergency cash needs.

“For the emergency cash services, there is no payment for 90 days,” VP of Loan Services Danita Sharp said. “So, it gives people, who are taking out loans, several months of not having to make that first payment.”

Sharp said the financial-ease measures are being taken to maintain people’s credit scores, which will help in the long run when economy does recover.

“By helping people defer payments and not just have those payments show up as delinquent, we’re hoping to preserve their credit rating, which is going to be needed down the road as people need to purchase vehicles or purchase homes or refinance homes,” Sharp said.

With these measures, Sharp said that OUCU also hopes to maintain equity power among people. Even if customers have savings, Sharp said that allowing people to defer payments or access emergency cash will help not deplete everything they may have saved for this circumstance. This can allow customers to still have an emergency savings to fall back on for other situations.


Although OUCU’s branch lobbies are closed, call centers and online banking are still available. Financial services appointments are available by phone or online via Zoom.

“For the Credit Union, kind of the whole reason we exist is for our members,” Sharp said. “We are a member-owned financial cooperative, so anything that we do, our primary focus is for the financial well-being of our members.”

Other national banks such as Chase and Bank of America have also closed their doors to the public. Banks are encouraging customers to use apps and online services.