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Columbia Business Monthly

Nine In 10 Who Asked, Got Breaks On Mortgage, Card Payments Due To Coronavirus

Apr 14, 2020 11:16AM ● By David Dykes

(Image: Freepik.com.)

By David Dykes

Some much-needed good news for folks whose financial lives have been flipped upside down by the Coronavirus: According to a new survey from LendingTree, more than 90 percent of people who asked their mortgage lender or credit card issuer for a break on their monthly bill have been successful.

However, far too few people have asked for assistance, LendingTree officials said.

"Reaching out to your lender and asking for help is absolutely, positively worth your time," said LendingTree Chief Credit Analyst Matt Schulz. "You may have to endure long hold times, and ultimately, there's no guarantee you'll get your way, but our survey results show that the vast majority of folks who take the time to reach out are getting some help. For folks struggling financially in the wake of this outbreak, that's a big deal. Make the call."

Full report: https://www.lendingtree.com/credit-repair/credit-cards-coronavirus-faq/ 

Key findings:

  • 91 percent of credit cardholders who asked their card issuer for a break on their monthly payment because of coronavirus-related circumstances got one. Of those who asked, 67 percent got a break on every card they asked about, and another 24 percent got a break on some of their cards. Just 9 percent didn't get a break on any card.
  • 91 percent of homeowners who asked their mortgage lender for a reprieve from their monthly payment because of the outbreak were granted one.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 people who didn't ask for help with their credit card or mortgage payments said they didn't realize they had that option.
  • Gen Xers had the highest success rate when asking for breaks on both mortgages and credit cards and were the most likely to ask for one on their card payment. Millennials were most likely to ask for a mortgage payment help.

Lenders have so-called hardship programs that kick in after natural disasters, and the coronavirus outbreak certainly fits that bill, LendingTree officials said.

Those programs offer short-term help to victims of the disaster in the form of reduced interest rates, higher credit limits, waived fees or delayed reporting of late payments to credit bureaus, among other things, the officials said.

Schulz said these survey results are clear evidence that hardship programs are in play today. It is important to understand that borrowers typically must make the first move to get that help, but too few make that call, LendingTree officials said. They said their survey showed that 18 percent of cardholders and homeowners who did not ask for a break didn't even know they could.

"Lenders aren't likely to seek you out to offer you this help, so it's up to you to make sure you get it," Schulz said. "Whether you make a call, send a tweet or write up an email, take the time to contact your lender and then be persistent. Nobody cares as much about your money as you do, so stay on the case until you get the help you're looking for. You'll be glad you did."

LendingTree said it commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,431 Americans, including 1,387 credit cardholders and 1,024 homeowners. The survey was fielded April 3-8, 2020, and the sample base was proportioned to represent the overall population, LendingTree said.



South Carolina Launches COVID-19 Emergency Supply Portal to Connect Providers with Organizations in Need

A collaboration between a manufacturing partnership, the South Carolina Hospital Association, the state Department of Commerce, and SCBIO has launched a new online South Carolina Emergency Supply Collaborative web portal.

Located at www.SCCOVID19.org, the portal connects those in need of essential supplies and equipment with those that can provide them quickly and efficiently, organizers said.

They said it allows industry and community partners with the ability to quickly produce, source, test, certify or contribute critical medical supplies (such as face shields, gowns, ventilators and masks) to directly connect with healthcare providers, first responders and industries searching for essential supplies.  

Manufacturers able to expand or pivot their production lines, suppliers and distributors with access to ready-made supplies, organizations able to donate supplies or personal protective equipment (PPE) can identify the supplies and equipment they can offer in the site’s central repository, organizers said.

Once quickly reviewed and vetted by a team from the collaborative, organizations in need of the materials will be digitally connected through the portal to secure the needed goods from providers directly, the organizers said. Organizations then conduct transactions and arrange and plan logistics directly.

The portal's need was identified after members of the collaborative began individually fielding hundreds of calls from organizations needing supplies, said Chuck Spangler, president of the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP).

“Each of our respective organizations has strong and indelible positions as sources of information, connection and aid to our respective constituencies, so it was logical for those parties – whether hospitals or manufacturers, existing industry or life sciences organizations – to turn to us in time of need,” Spangler said.  “After sharing among ourselves the flood of requests we were individually receiving and trying to manage, we determined that a combined approach would offer greatest value and efficiency for our state and its citizens, and the creation of the South Carolina COVID-19 Emergency Supply portal was quickly underway.”

Organizers said the site identifies critical-need items of industry, healthcare, first responders and governmental audiences across the state, and allows organizations to quickly enter the type of goods they can provide or manufacture, quantities and production capacity, and supply chain needs or requirements.  

 “This is a joint effort to recruit community partners with ability to quickly source or provide needed medical supplies to support South Carolina’s COVID-19 response,” said Thornton Kirby, president and CEO of the S.C. Hospital Association. 

The emergency supply website "will save valuable time and effort in connecting those in need of goods with those who have them… at a time where every minute counts in saving lives and defeating this formidable virus,” Kirby said.  

The website will be updated regularly with new information and opportunities to support South Carolina emergency response efforts, organizers said. They said it also links directly to individual websites of the four collaborative partners, each of which provides a host of resources, news, connections and relevant information for businesses and individuals.

"We are all in this together, and I am proud of the South Carolina business community’s continued response to serve our state during this unprecedented time,” said S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “The COVID-19 Emergency Supply Collaborative’s ability to connect manufacturers, suppliers and other organizations with the front-line medical personnel who need these critical items will serve as a valuable resource.”

Organizations and individuals can go online 24/7 to identify critical need items or to note what products they can provide or may need, said Sam Konduros, CEO of SCBIO.  “We encourage every member of industry, if you have a product that is needed and which you can provide, produce, test, certify or donate, let us know that right now by completing the simple form on the site.  And for organizations in need of such items, let us know that right away so that we can connect you with parties who can help right now.”

Go to the new site at https://sccovid19.org/.


 
 


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