by Kailey Hagen | March 23, 2020
Banks are offering a plethora of financial hardship assistance programs to those affected by COVID-19.
Staying healthy and slowing the spread of COVID-19 is still the top priority in most people's minds -- and rightfully so. But as businesses continue to close due to social distancing restrictions, concerns over financial security continue to grow.
In these unprecedented times, we're seeing some unprecedented levels of assistance coming from neighbors, the federal government, and now from banks. The following 23 institutions have all pledged their support to customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 closures. Some banks are deferring fees or offering good rates on personal loans. All are ready to work with each person and family to come up with fair solutions.
Ally Bank is enabling its home and auto loan borrowers to defer payments for up to 120 days. Your balance will continue to accrue interest during this time, but Ally will not charge late fees or report your payments as late to the credit bureaus. You must first call Ally if you intend to take advantage of this option. Ally is also suspending fees for excessive transactions, overdrafts, and expedited checks and debit cards on savings and money market accounts until July 31, 2020. In addition, the bank has pledged $3 million to address emergency needs in its communities.
Bank of America has created a Client Assistance Program for credit card and loan customers struggling to keep up with their payments. They can request payment deferral through their online account or by phone as well as refunds for overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds fees, and monthly maintenance fees. It has also announced that it's donating $100 million to local communities in need and another $250 million to community development financial institutions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
BBVA USA is offering deferred payments to credit card and loan customers who fill out its Payment Assistance Request form online. It's also waiving its fees for using a non-BBVA ATM, and it's waiving all early withdrawal penalties on certificate of deposits (CDs) opened before March 1. If you were recently charged an overdraft fee on your BBVA account, you can request a refund by contacting BBVA.
BMO Harris is also enabling its affected customers to defer payments on loans and credit cards without late fees. You must fill out its online form or contact the bank by phone in order to take advantage of this assistance. The online form is the fastest method because BMO Harris, like most banks, is experiencing unusually high call volumes at this time.
Capital One is another bank that is encouraging affected customers to reach out by phone if they are unable to keep up with their payments. Options include minimum payment assistance, deferred payments on loans, and waived fees. Capital One, like many of its competitors, is handling things on a case-by-case basis, so you won't know what kind of assistance you may qualify for until you call.
Chase is enabling customers with car leases to request a six-month lease extension or do a lease-end vehicle return when their lease ends. Credit card holders and other loan borrowers are also eligible for loan deferment. You can enroll in these assistance programs online or by calling Chase. In addition to offering its customers assistance, Chase has also pledged $50 million to nonprofit organizations to support Americans' short- and long-term needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online-only CIT Bank encourages customers with deposit accounts and mortgages to reach out if they have been impacted by COVID-19. The bank's new temporary hours are between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday, so you must contact it within these hours to receive support.
Citibank is waiving fees on safe deposit boxes and fees for non-Citi ATM usage, and if you need to withdraw money from a Citibank CD early, you can now do so penalty-free. Those who have credit cards and personal loans through the bank can request payment deferral for up to two statement cycles. Mortgage customers are also eligible for a range of hardship programs through Citibank's service provider, Cenlar FSB. Contact Citibank for more details.
Citizens Bank is offering payment assistance to its customers who reach out, which enables them to defer payments for up to 90 days with no impact on their credit score. It's also waiving late fees on credit cards and loans as well as overdraft and CD early withdrawal fees. If your account carries a monthly service charge, Citizens Bank will give these back to you as a rebate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mortgage and auto loan customers who fall behind on their payments won't have to worry about their homes or vehicles being repossessed, as Citizens Bank has suspended all auto repossessions and home repossessions for 60 days.
Discover doesn't go into detail on its website, but it does say it's offering support to its banking, credit card, and loan customers who have been affected, either medically or financially, by COVID-19. You can reach out to Discover over the phone or message the company through your online Account Center or through the Discover Mobile App.
Fifth Third Bank mortgage customers may defer payments for up to 180 days. This can be extended for another 180 days at the borrower’s request. The bank is also suspending all foreclosures through Aug. 31, 2020. If you're concerned about your ability to pay any of your other Fifth Third bills, contact the bank to see what types of assistance programs it can offer you.
HSBC Bank has waived all monthly maintenance fees on deposit accounts, along with early withdrawal penalties on CDs and ATM and overdraft fees. Loan customers who are unable to keep up with their payments may defer them for up to 180 days without penalty from the day they enroll in its hardship program, and mortgage customers may be able to get this extended up to 360 days. HSBC Bank won't charge you late fees or report your payments as late to the credit bureaus if you enroll in one of these programs.
Huntington Bank is suspending late fees on all consumer loan products and enabling those who are unable to keep up with their loan payments to request up to 90 days of payment deferral. You can enroll in this program by calling Huntington Bank. The bank has also pledged to leave customers' stimulus checks in their accounts untouched for 30 days before seizing any of those funds to cover outstanding overdraft fees.
KeyBank has pledged $1 million to assist COVID-19-impacted communities in the bank's service area. It's also offering payment extensions, waived fees, and waived penalties on mortgages, credit cards, and other loan products in addition to temporarily suspending repossessions and evictions. Clients wishing to defer their loan payments may do so for up to 90 days if they contact KeyBank to request hardship assistance.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is enabling its loan customers to postpone loan payments for one month with no interest. The bank will extend your loan term by one month if you choose to participate. If you'd like to enroll in this customer assistance program, you must contact Marcus by Goldman Sachs to notify the bank and agree to the program terms. It's also waiving early withdrawal penalties on high-yield CDs if you need to access your funds before the maturity date.
PNC Bank is enabling its credit card and loan customers to request payment deferral through a form on the bank website or by calling its customer support line. If you choose to postpone your payments, PNC Bank won't charge you any late fees, though your balance will continue to accrue interest.
Regions Bank has waived early withdrawal fees on CDs and fees for excessive withdrawals from savings and money market accounts. It's also offering other deposit account waivers depending on customer needs. Loan and credit card customers struggling to keep up with their payments should reach out to Regions Bank to discuss deferment and other hardship assistance options.
Santander Bank is allowing its retail banking customers to request payment deferral through their online accounts. You won't need to pay any late payment fees if you enroll in this program, though your balance will still accrue interest. It's also offering lease extensions for lessees unable to return their vehicles, refunding late fees and overdraft fees on bank accounts, and waiving CD early withdrawal penalties and outgoing wire transfer fees. Customers may also request a credit limit increase or take advantage of Santander Bank's increased ATM withdrawal limits during this time.
TD Bank, part of TD Ameritrade, is enabling customers affected by COVID-19 to defer payments without incurring late fees. Contact TD Bank by phone to learn more about your options and to enroll in its hardship assistance program.
TIAA Bank is waiving fees for wire transfers, insufficient funds, ATM transactions, and late credit card payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's also increasing the limit on debit and cash withdrawals. Credit card customers who meet certain eligibility requirements can skip one payment without penalty. If you have a mortgage through TIAA Bank, you may qualify for temporary forbearance, which enables you to skip payments without penalties, though interest will continue to accrue. Contact TIAA Bank to enroll in one of these programs.
Truist, the product of a recent merger between BB&T and SunTrust banks, is offering payment deferral for up to 90 days to its credit card and loan customers, and it's also temporarily waiving ATM surcharge fees. Fill out its online form or call to apply for hardship assistance. Truist has pledged $50 million in philanthropic support to several organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Hopkins Medicine, and United Way. It's also promised to support the cash flow needs of its retail and business clients through a number of lending programs.
U.S. Bank has temporarily reduced the rates on its Simple loans. This product lets you borrow between $100 and $1,000 with no hidden fees and repay the loan in three equal parts. The current fee is $6 per $100 borrowed, down from the normal $12 to $15 per $100 borrowed. U.S. Bank is also enabling its mortgage customers to defer payments for up to 180 days with no late fees, though your balance will continue to accrue interest during that time. Auto, boat, and RV loan and lease customers may be eligible for a loan extension if they're not able to keep up with their payments. The bank also encourages credit card customers who can't keep up with their payments to reach out to discuss their options.
Wells Fargo is another bank that's encouraging customers experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic to reach out to the bank via phone during its customer support hours to discuss their options. It's handling things on a case-by-case basis, so calling is the only way to know what support is available to you. Depending on your situation, it is suspending evictions, foreclosures on residential property and auto repossessions as well as offering fee waivers and payment deferrals. The Wells Fargo Foundation is also donating up to $175 million to support global and domestic response to COVID-19.
If your bank isn't listed here, you can always try contacting it to see if it is offering any support to customers impacted by COVID-19. Expect longer-than-average wait times wherever you call, as thousands of other Americans are also trying to get assistance. Keep an eye on correspondence from your bank, too, as some of them may extend or expand their available support as the pandemic continues.
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