It's starting to seem as if the whole world is going mad in an attempt to shut everything down and keep us all at home, but we're still here to help through it all. We're taking steps to make sure your payments remain up-to-date even if we have to close, but in the meantime, bear the following in mind:
1. Don't Panic Buy
It might feel at times like the world is going into panic mode and that we might be trapped in quarantine for months, but look at other countries under lockdown: Italians are still allowed to go to the shops, pubs and pharmacies despite special rules being in place to prevent infection.
Panic buying is a waste of money and resources. Depriving the vulnerable and needy in the community is an easily-avoidable behaviour, and the simple act of panicking in public can cause those around you huge amounts of stress and discomfort. Instead of panic buying, why not look for ways in which you can help the disadvantaged members of your community find what they need if they can't reach the shops?
Don't spend what doesn't need spent; you'll still be able to make it to the shops!
2. Keep Making Payments
We're always standing by to accept debit card transactions via phone. It's perfectly secure; we take all your details, match them to your account and then process the payment into your savings or loan depending on what you need.
Alternatively, you can set up a temporary standing order. Come in and ask for a form to set one up, then we'll make sure that the money's going into your account when you can't make it into the office.
If neither of these options suit, you can use online banking to ensure your account is in order. Ask us via the website's chat feature about getting hold of the details you need to make online payments, and we'll help you get on top of your deposits.
3. Keep Regular Deposits Aside
It might be stressful to know that your loan isn't being paid to date when you can't make it down to see us. Don't worry though; chances are that a lot of other people, or indeed everyone, will be in the same boat.
If you're someone who normally comes in to pay in person, simply set aside the money you normally pay and then bring it in all at once when things return to normal. We're not going to punish the whole member community for falling behind if it's not possible for anyone to pay, so just be sure to hold on to what you normally pay so that you can be stress-free when we return!
4. Don't Stress About Falling Behind
We're only encouraging people to continue paying as a way of reducing the stress which may come along with widespread isolation or lockdown. If you can't follow our suggestions for keeping your account in the red, don't worry! We can help you figure out how to get it back under control when everything returns to normal.
5. It's Totally Fine to Stop Saving
If you're concerned about still being able to save if things close up, don't sweat! We know it might get hard to spend the little bit extra which you normally save away, but if it's important that you hold on to as much as you can, everything will be fine.
There'll be plenty of time to save when this is all behind us.
6. Remember What's Important
It might well turn out that a lot of people are left without pay during a period of widespread closure or lockdown. If this is the case for you, remember to treat your money wisely:
Are you spending money on things you don't need?
Are you buying in bulk when the shops are still open as usual?
Are you making sure all your important regular payments are still covered?
Have you notified organisations you normally pay to tell them that your finances are strained?
If things do get especially bad and we're still open, speak to us about borrowing to cover absence from work. Once you get back on your feet, we'll work with you to make sure your payments are taken care of.