PRESS RELEASE…(July 23, 2020) – Approximately one month ago, the longest serving credit union in St. Kitts and Nevis launched a loan product, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and according to the institution’s General Manager, G. Sydney Newton, the response, so far, has been encouraging.
The “Learn on the Go” loan product is one of several steps taken by the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union (NCCU) Limited to offer relief to its members, many of whom are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the economic impact of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19).
This particular loan allows members to borrow up to $5000 to purchase a laptop computer or a compatible device, a printer and other related add-ons. It also features a consolidation option, allowing members with existing loans or small debts to pay off those debts and purchase a laptop computer while making one payment, in one place.
In explaining the rationale for the pandemic relief loan, General Manager Newton explained that “Covid-19 has forced the closure of many institutions of learning, certainly those here on Nevis. Students and teachers were subsequently exposed to online learning and this proved to be a challenge for some, adding that “Our officers in the Loans Department recognised that problem and quickly worked with the Business Development and Marketing Unit to develop a product to assist those persons.”
At the start of the pandemic, the NCCU granted a three-month moratorium or deferment on loan payments of principal and interest to members. This adds to the previously announced waiver of late fees on loan payments, penalty waiver for early redemption of Certificates of Deposit and financial advice and counseling by the institution’s staff.
According to General Manager Newton, “although these initiatives may be new, the underlying principles are not as they represent the essence of the Credit Union movement generally – people helping people, and the NCCU specifically.”