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Louisiana Credit Union Recognized with Innovation Award for Pandemic Emergency Loan Program

This post is provided by the Louisiana Credit Union League, which represents credit unions serving more than 1.26 million members the State of Louisiana (United States).

New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union (NOFFCU) has been recognized with the prestigious Kasasa Innovation Award for 2020.

Kasasa’s Innovation Award recognizes banks and credit unions for bringing innovative tools and services to maintain a competitive edge and serve their account holders.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many unique needs requiring creative solutions for Americans. At the beginning of the pandemic, NOFFCU reached out to SEGs (special employee groups) to see how they were affected and what assistance could be provided. Healthcare groups shared their situations of furloughing employees and limiting how many could come to work. During this time, employees furloughed were cafeteria staff, janitorial staff and even some nurses. 

To keep these employees whole during this time of reduced income, NOFFCU created an emergency loan that helped cover the amount short in each paycheck for up to six paychecks. Payouts were made on payroll day, allowing the members to receive their regular paycheck amount to cover their everyday expenses. This type of loan and payout structure was a heavy lift for NOFFCU, but the team approached the project enthusiastically, knowing it would help keep these members out of payday loan offices.

“These members were hit with a situation they couldn’t have predicted. Their income was either reduced or stopped altogether. Our fear was that without options, these people would have turned to payday loans and found themselves in a never-ending cycle. Our team worked closely with both employers and employees to find a solution that allowed these members to receive their full paycheck, support their families, and make every penny count,” said NOFFCU CEO Judy DeLucca.