Frequently Asked Questions for Credit Union Members

Along with the following helpful information for credit union members, find answers to other Coronavirus FAQs provided by the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Credit Union Operations & Status

For credit union branch locations and contact information, use the NCUA’s Credit Union Locator. Credit unions found through this tool are federally insured. If you are unable to determine the operating status of your federally insured credit union or need help with your credit union, call the NCUA Consumer Assistance Center at 1.800.755.1030, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern.

What is the operating status of my federally insured credit union?

If you have questions, concerning your credit union’s operating status, contact the credit union directly or visit its website or social media sites.

Close and return to top

Where can I obtain help with my credit union?

The NCUA Consumer Assistance Center assists consumers in resolving disputes with credit unions and provides information about federal consumer financial protection and share insurance matters. Do you have questions about your consumer rights or a federal consumer financial protection law and regulation? Check out the NCUA’s Find an Answer knowledgebase.

COVID-19 Notice: The NCUA recommends registering for the consumer complaint portal to electronically submit and receive communications from the agency. Due to COVID-19, many employees are working remotely and this may cause a delayed response due to disrupted processing of traditional mail. We are working to improve this process.

Close and return to top

Is it legal for a credit union to close for an extended period?

There is no law or regulation that requires federal credit unions to be physically open for a specified period of time, or prevent it from closing for an extended period of time. As a result, federally insured credit unions may legally close for a period of time. If your credit union is sponsored by a non-profit or single employer, they may be closed by local or state directives. Rest assured these credit unions remain federally insured and your money is safe. Please note, state-chartered credit unions will comply with state law.

Close and return to top

Share Insurance Coverage

Federally insured credit unions are safe places to save your money, with deposits insured up to at least $250,000 per individual depositor at an NCUA-insured credit union. Deposits at all federal credit unions and the vast majority of state-chartered credit unions are covered by Share Insurance Fund protection. Credit union members have never lost a penny of insured savings at a federally insured credit union.

Is my money insured?

Deposits at all federal credit unions and the vast majority of state-chartered credit unions are guaranteed by Share Insurance Fund protection. The NCUA is the independent agency that administers the Share Insurance Fund. Like the FDIC's Deposit Insurance Fund, the Share Insurance Fund is a federal insurance fund backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.

For more information about your share insurance coverage, including brochures and videos, view the following resources:

Close and return to top

If my credit union is closed or has temporarily reduced branch access, is my money still insured?

Yes. Regardless of your credit union’s decision to close a branch, convert to drive-thru only services, or offer services through online and mobile platforms due to the challenges associated with COVID-19, deposits with a federally insured credit union continue to be protected up to at least $250,000 per depositor by the Share Insurance Fund.

Close and return to top

Stimulus Payments

The IRS’s Economic Impact Payments Information Center provides answers to questions about eligibility, payment amounts, how to avoid scams related to economic payments and COVID-19, and more.

Am I eligible for a stimulus check/economic impact payment?

You can check your eligibility by visiting the IRS’s Economic Impact Payment information Center.

Close and return to top

When will I receive my stimulus check?

For most taxpayers, including those who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees, payments are automatic, so no further action is needed. The IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center provides additional information regarding eligibility, payments, and more.

Close and return to top

How do I know if my stimulus check was mailed to me?

The IRS’s Get My Payment tool allows taxpayers to check on their Economic Impact Payment date, as well as update direct deposit information. Get My Payment is updated once daily, usually overnight, and since a large volume of people are receiving Economic Impact Payments, the IRS urges taxpayers to use the tool only once a day.

Close and return to top

I need to update my credit union or bank account information or mailing address in order to receive my stimulus check. Who do I contact?

You can update your information using the IRS’s Get My Payment tool. If you did not use direct deposit on your last tax return, you can input information to receive the payment by direct deposit, expediting receipt. Get My Payment is updated once daily, usually overnight, and since a large volume of people are receiving Economic Impact Payments, the IRS urges taxpayers to use the tool only once a day.

Close and return to top

How do I know if I receive a counterfeit COVID stimulus payment check?

Members can verify a COVID stimulus check’s authenticity using the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Treasury Check Verification Application. The U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a public service announcement that provides quick tips about genuine security features of stimulus payment checks from the U.S. Treasury. 

Members can view images of official checks and highlights of the security features on the Secret Service’s website. These features include the United States Treasury Seal and Watermark, ink that changes color and bleeds when it gets wet, the use of an ultraviolet overprint and unique micro-printing, and “Economic Impact Payment President Donald J. Trump” text next to the Statue of Liberty.

Close and return to top

Cash & Deposits

Along with federally insured credit unions, the NCUA is working with federal and state regulatory agencies to ensure that credit unions can take reasonable and prudent steps to assist members and communities impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Will there be enough cash during a pandemic or other national disaster?

The Federal Reserve System has, and will continue to meet, the currency needs of credit union members. Consumers are encouraged to continue to conduct transactions as they normally would. Credit and debit cards and other payment systems will operate as normal.

Close and return to top

If my credit union branch or office is closed and I do not have an ATM or debit card, what are my options to access my funds?

If possible, visit another branch of your credit union. If none of your credit union’s offices are open, most federally insured credit unions are part of a shared branching network with other credit unions. Open shared branching locations affiliated with your credit union allow you to access your funds. Please contact your credit union for shared branch locations in your area.

Close and return to top

What if my credit union establishes a maximum cash withdrawal limit? Is this legal?

Federally insured credit unions may legally establish maximum cash withdrawal limits to meet the cash needs of all members. If you need to withdraw a large amount of cash, you should notify the credit union in advance.

Close and return to top

I am concerned about “foreign” or “out of network” ATM fees as I do not have access to my credit union’s ATM network, but need cash due to COVID-19 related issues. Whom may I contact regarding this concern?

The NCUA is encouraging credit unions to consider waiving these fees for members and non-members impacted by COVID-19. Please contact your credit union and explain your situation.

Close and return to top

I need to withdraw money from my share certificate to help pay for unexpected expenses as a result of COVID-19. Will my credit union let me withdraw my money without penalty?

Share certificates are a contractual obligation between you and the credit union. Please contact your credit union and explain your situation. The NCUA is encouraging credit unions to consider waiving these fees for those impacted by COVID-19.

Close and return to top

I am no longer working due to COVID-19 and my checking account balance is negative. How do I get help paying off the balance or requesting a waiver of fees?

The NCUA is encouraging credit unions to waive overdraft fees and refrain from reporting negative information caused by any COVID-19-related disruption to credit bureaus. Please contact your credit union and explain your situation. Many credit unions are providing forbearance and emergency loans.

Close and return to top

Credit & Loans

The NCUA encourages federally insured credit unions to meet financial needs of members affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Credit unions may offer small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses to meet members’ credit needs because of temporary cash-flow imbalances, unexpected expenses, or income disruptions. For borrowers who experience unexpected circumstances and cannot repay a loan as structured, credit unions are further encouraged to consider workout strategies designed to help borrowers to repay the principal of the loan while mitigating the need to re-borrow.

How can I obtain help paying my loans if I am no longer working due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Please contact your credit union and explain your situation. The NCUA is encouraging credit unions to offer payment accommodations, such as allowing borrowers to defer or skip some payments, extending the payment due dates, or waiving late fees, which would avoid delinquencies and negative credit bureau reporting caused by COVID-19-related disruptions.

Close and return to top

What if my credit union was closed and liquidated, and I have an outstanding NCUA managed loan?

The NCUA understands borrowers may experience COVID-19-related hardships. If you have an NCUA-managed loan, we are offering loan assistance options. The NCUA’s Asset Management and Assistance Center (AMAC) services loans through several servicing organizations. For quickest assistance, first contact the servicer where you normally make payments. If you need further assistance with an NCUA-managed loan, you can reach AMAC at amacmail@ncua.gov or 512.231.7940.

Close and return to top

How do I get help if I can’t pay my mortgage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, created two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:

  1. A foreclosure moratorium
  2. A right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency

To learn whether yours is a federally backed loan, you can look up your loan using tools provided by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or check the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) website to find your mortgage servicer and contact them to determine who owns your mortgage. If you don’t have a federally backed mortgage, your mortgage servicer or state may also offer relief options.

If you can’t pay your mortgage, or can only pay a portion, contact your mortgage servicer immediately. Loan servicers are experiencing a high call volume and may also be impacted by the pandemic. It may take a while to get a loan servicer on the phone. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has helpful information on options if you can’t pay your mortgage, including how to determine what types of relief or help you qualify for, how to get mortgage relief, and where to get more help. Also, be wary of unsolicited calls, texts, or emails. Refer to the Frauds and Scams section for information.

Close and return to top

What happens to my credit report if I can’t pay my loans and how do I get help protecting my credit?

Many lenders have announced proactive measures to help borrowers impacted by COVID-19. As with other natural disasters and emergencies, they may be willing to provide forbearance, loan extensions, a reduction in interest rates, and/or other flexibilities for repayment. Some lenders also may choose not to report late payments to credit reporting agencies or waive late fees for borrowers impacted by the pandemic. If you cannot make your loan payments, contact your lenders to explain your situation and be sure to get confirmation of any agreements in writing.

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act places special requirements on companies that report your payment information to credit reporting companies. These requirements apply if you are affected by the coronavirus disease pandemic and if your creditor makes an agreement (called an “accommodation” in the Act) with you to defer a payment, make partial payments, forbear a delinquency, modify a loan, or other relief.

How your creditors report your account to credit reporting companies under the CARES Act depends on whether you were current or already delinquent when the agreement is made.

  • If your account is current and your creditor agrees to a partial payment, skipped payment, or other accommodation, the creditor will report that you are current on your loan or account. This applies only if you are meeting the terms of the agreement.
  • If your account is already delinquent and your creditor agrees to the accommodations described above, the creditor will continue reporting the delinquent status until you bring the account current. (Once you bring the account to current status, the creditor must report that you are current on your loan or account.)

This CARES Act requirement applies only to agreements made between January 31, 2020 and the later of either of July 25, 2020 or 120 days after the national emergency concerning the COVID–19 pandemic ends.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has helpful information on how to protect your credit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Close and return to top

What if I can’t afford my student loans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act automatically suspended principal and interest payments on federally held student loans through September 30, 2020. During this time, the interest rate on is set to 0 percent. Your federal student loan servicer will suspend all interest and payments without any action from you. You do not need to contact your student loan servicer.

The CARES Act authorized benefits do not apply to private (non-federal) student loans owned by banks, credit unions, schools, or other private entities. Many private student loan lenders are offering extended forbearance options and other benefits. Contact your lender or servicer for more information.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has helpful information on student loans and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Close and return to top

I am a small business owner and my credit union isn’t participating in the Paycheck Protection Program. Where can I find a list of participating lenders?

Participation in the program is voluntary for lenders, and some have chosen not to participate. The Small Business Administration has an online tool to find participating PPP lenders.

Close and return to top

I need help with my small business, which has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Is there anyone I can speak with regarding loans for small businesses?

The Small Business Administration has published potential relief funding options online.

Close and return to top

I am using my credit card to pay for unexpected living expenses. How do I get help if I need a higher limit?

The NCUA is encouraging credit unions to consider increasing credit card limits for creditworthy borrowers. The NCUA is also encouraging credit unions to consider waiving late payment fees on credit cards and other loans.

Close and return to top

When will I be notified of the action taken on my SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application?

Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B, credit unions are required to notify applicants of approval, counteroffer to, or adverse action (such as disapproval) taken within 30 days after receiving a "completed application."

As noted in the CFPB's recently issued FAQs discussing when an SBA PPP application is considered "completed" and related adverse action notice expectations, a PPP application that a creditor has submitted to the SBA for loan processing is considered a "completed application" once the SBA assigns a loan number or responds about the availability of funds. Because of this distinction, the ECOA and Regulation B notification from your credit union may be received more than 30 days from your initial application date.

Close and return to top

Does the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B requirements apply to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans?

Yes. When working with loan applicants, lenders, including credit unions, must adhere to fair lending laws and other applicable legal requirements.

The purpose of ECOA and Regulation B is to promote the availability of credit to all creditworthy applicants without regard to specified prohibited bases for discrimination. ECOA and Regulation B prohibit discrimination against an applicant on a prohibited basis regarding any aspect of a credit transaction, and prohibit discouraging a reasonable person, on a prohibited basis, from making or pursuing an application. See 12 C.F.R § 1002.4(a), (b). The prohibition on lending discrimination in ECOA and Regulation B applies to all lenders and to both business and consumer loans. We encourage you to visit the SBA’s website for more information on PPP loans.

Close and return to top

Frauds & Scams

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the United States, scammers have seized the opportunity to prey on consumers. This includes perpetrating stimulus payment scams. Credit union members are advised to exercise caution in handling any email with subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks related to the coronavirus or COVID-19, even if it appears to originate from a trusted source. Fraudulent emails often contain links or attachments that direct users to phishing or malware-infected websites. Emails requesting donations from duplicitous charitable organizations commonly appear during times of heightened awareness.

How can I protect against frauds or scams?

Visit the NCUA’s Fraud Prevention Center for information on how to recognize, take action, and protect yourself and your personal financial information from frauds and scams.

The Fraud Prevention Center is part of NCUA’s website, MyCreditUnion.gov, dedicated to consumers that contains valuable consumer financial protection information.

The FTC and FDA also provide consumers with helpful information on COVID-19 related frauds and scams, including warning letters to sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the coronavirus.

Keep Calm and Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Close and return to top

I received a phone call, email, or text asking for my credit union or bank account information to receive my stimulus check. Is this a scam?

The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of calls and email phishing attempts about the Coronavirus or COVID-19. These contacts can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.

If you receive a phone call, email, or text claiming to be from the U.S. government regarding stimulus money—do not fall for it. These phishing scams will likely ask for your credit union or bank account information and insist the money will be deposited directly into your bank account.

Close and return to top

How do I avoid scams while finding help during self-isolation or quarantine?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has more information about recent scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If a stranger offers to help with tasks like picking up groceries, prescriptions, and other needed supplies, exercise caution to protect yourself. Some scammers offer to buy supplies, but never return with the goods or your money. It’s usually safer to ask a trusted friend or neighbor or arrange a delivery with a well-known company. The NCUA also recommends researching any offers for monetary support independently to ensure they are legitimate.

Close and return to top
Last modified on
05/20/20