A funny thing happened this week when sending out a press release about my credit union's Holiday Skip-a-Pay program...Jimmy Marks at Digital Mailer, facilitators for the CU Soapbox, asked if he could feature the story on the blog. Of course I agreed, happy to see this wonderful reminder of credit union magic get some publicity.
This program was not unlike many Skip-a-Pay programs you have seen at other financial institutions...except one very important detail: we had absolutely no fee attached. Members were allowed to skip any non-mortgage loan payment for the month of November or December just as a courtesy to help their families through a tough holiday season. The results were amazing, over 20% of our loan agreements were amended for a total over $870,000.
To me, these results were made even more amazing (remember, I work for a $200 million credit union) by comparing them to the results of a recent ING promotion (thank you to Jeffry Pilcher for the heads up on this one). ING forgave January mortgage payments for 500 lucky customers. Now, keep in mind that having your payment forgiven is a much better deal than simply skipping a payment and extending the term. So, in that light, ING's program was a better deal for those select few who won. But our program was open to everyone. And, the fact that we gave up the monthly cash flow from over 4,000 of our loans outstanding is no small feat in this or any other economic environment.
To read more about this story, please visit the CU Soapbox. This is a great forum for passionate people in around the credit union movement to sound off on topics ranging from TARP to Blago, and everything in-between.