True Story: Here to Help

07/08/2020

by Doug True, CEO

FORUM Credit Union is rooted in a “people helping people” philosophy that permeates throughout credit unions across our nation.  As a financial cooperative, we are owned by you and your fellow 150,000+ member/owners.  This year our “people helping people” philosophy is more important than ever as we help our members navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our pleasure to be here to help our members during their personal experience with this pandemic.  Your membership and participation at FORUM plays a significant role in our ability to make a difference when help is needed.  Here are six examples:

  • Since the pandemic started in March, we have granted 2,372 loan deferrals for our members who need payment relief on their FORUM loan.  These deferrals represent more than $60 million in balances outstanding.  This 60-day payment relief helps members who need to allocate money for higher priority items during the pandemic.  If 60 days is not long enough, we listen and work with members on a second 60-day deferral.  Our desire is to find a payment plan that makes sense for the member.  As a financial cooperative, the money we loan is from money saved by fellow members.

  • In addition to serving 150,000 members, we also serve thousands of local member businesses.  We participated in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  We helped 380 member businesses for a total of $18 million in PPP loans.  Our average loan amount was $47,000, demonstrating we truly are focused on helping small local businesses.  Lately, there have been news stories about large companies taking advantage of the SBA PPP loans, but that is not the case here at FORUM.  We take pride in helping local business owners keep their employees working and paid during the pandemic. 

  • Our branch retail teammates have been outstanding during the pandemic.  As an essential business, we never closed.  We kept our branch locations open in the drive-up lanes and with lobby appointments only early in the pandemic.  Our lobbies are now open with our normal pre-COVID hours, with the exception of our Monument Circle location which is still awaiting repairs from damage it recently sustained.  Additionally, we appreciate your patience as we navigate how to best protect the health of our teammates and you during the pandemic.  Speaking of appointments, did you know we offer the ability for you to schedule an appointment at the location of your choice online or over the phone?  You can schedule appointments from our website at forumcu.com or via our mobile app.  Appointments are available for branch visits and calls.  You can even make an appointment to talk with someone by phone about a loan or mortgage.  

  • Our member service call, chat and email teams have been busy helping members during the pandemic.  Many of our member service teammates have been doing this from their remote work set-up at their homes.  They serve around 30,000 members each month and consistently achieve a 98% member satisfaction rating on surveys. 

  • During this interesting time, we appreciate the support or our membership in looking to FORUM for their borrowing needs.  Through the first half of the year, we have granted $600 million in new member and member business loans.  If you recently purchased a home or refinanced your home with us – thank you.  We have processed more than $300 million in mortgages this year while we were expecting to do only $200 million for the entire 2020 year.  We appreciate your patience here as well, as our mortgage team has been inundated with new applications and working around the clock to quickly process these applications.  Our mortgage surveys have also been in the 97-98% range consistently and we are grateful for your positive feedback.  If you purchased and financed a car with us this year – thank you.  We have completed nearly $200 million in used and new automobile loans so far this year.

  • As I mentioned earlier, the money we loan to members and member businesses is from money we have on deposit from you and your fellow members.  Member deposits have grown by $187 million so far this year, putting us at $1.3 billion in total member deposits.  We appreciate your confidence in FORUM for your deposits – whether it be YOUR Checking, savings accounts, and/or certificates of deposits.  The money you have on deposit at FORUM helps members and member businesses secure the loans they desire to improve their life or business. 

It truly is the “people helping people” philosophy during this pandemic that will make a difference in our communities.  Thank you for being a FORUM member – we are here to help – and thank you for your participation in your cooperative.
 

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