How banks are offering to help Americans affected by COVID-19

March 25, 2020

How banks are offering to help Americans affected by COVID-19

With the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are confronting financial hardship due to health-related closures – and as a result, many U.S. workers are facing unemployment. As American businesses and workers brace for the short- and long-term impact, banks and financial companies are taking measures that may ease some of the burden through several programs. 

Regulators are urging banks to ensure impacted businesses and individuals receive the funding they need. 

The following list is an outline of some programs created by various financial institutions to offer assistance and relief:

  • Offer interest only on term debt or interest only on lines of credit
  • Additional line of credit borrowings may be offered (determined on a case by case basis)
  • Relaxed reporting compliance on debt requirements including borrowing base computations, submission of year-end financial information including financial statements and tax returns, and debt covenant violations.
  • Payment deferral for existing or new auto loan customers
  • Payment deferral for existing mortgage customers without incurring late fees or finance charges
  • Overdraft charges may be waived or refunded
  • Fees may be waived for late fees, excessive transactions on savings accounts or certificates of deposit
  • Payment deferrals, with payments added to the end of the loan, for mortgages and home equity lines of credit
  • Pause foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions
  • Offer hardship loans including the increased credit limits and fee waivers
  • Offer credit card payment deferrals or extensions

Click here for an American Bankers Association list of some of the banks that offer financial aid to those affected by the pandemic.

Be aware that many of these programs will defer payment terms within a stated period, typically between 90 and 120 days.  In other situations, you may need to request a waiver of fees and charges or the deferral of certain payments directly with the bank.  Finally, this listing may not address every program offered by every bank, but does provide information on what many banks are offering that may be specific to your business or personal financial situation.  If you are experiencing financial hardship, reach out to your bank for help.

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Herbein is responding to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic with our Coronavirus Resource Center, which provides regularly updated information, answers to frequently asked questions and other resources to help during this global health crisis. Continue to check back for more updates in the coming weeks.