LAKE JACKSON, Texas (9/18/08)--As the damage left behind by Hurricane Ike is felt more with each passing day, credit unions are putting into action services to help their members recover, repair and replace aspects of their lives. Texas Dow Employees CU (TDECU), based in Lake Jackson, Texas, has offered several innovative services to help members who suffered losses and whose budgets were turned upside down by the hurricane. They include:
* A universal Skip-A-Pay program, allowing members to skip a month or two on all loan payments to TDECU. Within the first day of the Skip-A-Pay program being announced on the TDECU website, more than 2,000 members took up the offer to defer their loans--mortgage, car or unsecured. * A special "Recover, Repair, Replace and then Relax Loan" to cover the costs of evacuation, displacement, or recovery for the repair, replacement and rebuilding of their homes and lives. Under its terms, members will not have payments for the first 90 days. Afterwards, repayment terms will be extended for up to 36 months. Members can apply for this loan, which will be offered for a limited time, by visiting their branch or calling TDECU.
“After Hurricane Carla in 1961, TDECU helped families get back on their feet. Losses were huge, but we all got through it together and we’re going to get you through this one, too,” Edward C. Speed, president/CEO of TDECU, told members. “We want our members to feel like they have a trusted partner in the community to count on during this tough time. We were the last banking institution to close and the first one to reopen in Southern Brazoria County and in some of our other markets,” he said. Quickly following the storm’s aftermath, TDECU reopened all its public access branches throughout Southeast Texas. All are operating under normal business hours. The openings were made possible through the dedication of TDECU employees to serving their members, said the credit union. No matter where TDECU members evacuated to, they still have had access to 24-hour phone banking services and their funds via the TDECU website at www.tdecu.org or by calling its Emergency Hurricane Number at 800- 839-1154. TDECU’s commitment to serving its members has also extended to keeping them informed via a blog on its website that continuously provides updates not only on its own operations but also that of surrounding schools and businesses. The blog found at www.tdecu.wordpress.com has become a community lifeline with its posting of school and road closures, member stories, photos and videos. Given the strong positive response by the community to the blog, TDECU has committed to keeping it updated throughout the recovery process. TDECU is also posting videos on YouTube to keep the community and members further informed as part of this public information service.