Update from John Veldkamp, CEO of Christian Credit Union
Posted: April 1, 2020
It is April 1st but I am sorry to report that all of the changes we experienced in March were not part of some elaborate April Fool’s joke. Our current reality is that none of our comfortable routines are the same and there is a lot of uncertainty about how long this will continue and what will be the impact on us and on our economy. These days we frequently hear words and phrases such as “crisis”, “pandemic”, “state of emergency” and “stay safe”. All of this contributes to feelings of fear and anxiety.
These feelings of fear and anxiety are just as real for Christians as for anyone else. Although the Bible says many times “do not fear”, we are human and we feel fear despite what Isaiah 41:10 says:
So do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
It is hard to trust our invisible God when we are facing the real fears of layoffs, not being able to see ailing loved ones and not knowing what the future may hold. Nevertheless, we know that God’s word is true and completely reliable – even though so much of our world has changed, God does not change – and He says “I am with you” and “I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.
One way we can see our invisible Father God is through the interactions we have with fellow believers in Christ. At Christian Credit Union we strive to be financial ambassadors for Christ by helping our members apply biblical values to the management of their finances. More detail on these biblical values can be found on our website.
In my letter of March 18th I made members aware of several ways we can support them at this time. This is not a change from how we have always worked with members who are experiencing financial difficulties, we will just be having a lot more conversations at this time. In those conversations we want to recommend what is best for our members. For this reason we are not automatically setting people up for loan deferrals. In some cases a loan deferral is necessary and available – we just want our members to understand that a loan deferral is not the best option in every circumstance and a loan deferral will result in paying more interest over the life of the loan.
When you talk to us, we will connect with you to truly understand how you are feeling. We will then take time to understand your particular situation and help you understand the options that are available. We will then provide you with advice on how the different options will impact you so that you can decide what is in your best interest. Finally, we will encourage you to remember that, even though He is invisible, God really is there for you to “strengthen you” and to “help you”.
I have an amazing team working with me at Christian Credit Union and they have all stepped up to make sure that our members are still being served. Thank you for choosing Christian Credit Union; it is a privilege to serve you!
John W. Veldkamp
Financial Relief Programs
Posted: March 24, 2020
We know that the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will have a significant impact on many of our members. Learn more about COVID-19 Financial Relief Programs that are available from the federal and provincial governments.
Financial Relief Programs
If you have any questions, we are here to help.
A message from John Veldkamp, CEO of Christian Credit Union
Posted: March 18, 2020
In response to the information and guidance provided by our government leaders, Christian Credit Union is actively monitoring and managing impacts of COVID-19 on our members, team members and communities. It is very important that we all take this rapidly changing situation seriously and adopt the recommended precautions.
Today I want to personally update our members on how your Credit Union is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts as it relates to our members and our Credit Union team members.
First and foremost, I want to be clear that we are not implementing these precautions out of a spirit of fear. We believe that the steps we are taking are a responsible approach to reduce the spread of COVID-19 that protect the well-being of our members. Throughout these challenging times I encourage you to put your hope and trust in our merciful God and Father who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and who still upholds and governs this world today.
We provide a critical service for our members and we take this responsibility seriously. We are thankful that God has blessed us with many technological resources that allow us to serve our members while maintaining the necessary social distancing. We understand that some transactions cannot be completed using technology and as long as it is safe to do so we intend to continue to serve our members. We will not meet with members who have a cough or fever or who have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
We are working together with the Credit Union System and the Government of Alberta to maintain the availability and integrity of our financial services industry. As always, you can be confident in the unmatched security of the Alberta Credit Union 100% deposit guarantee backed by the Province of Alberta through the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation, which means both the money you deposit and the interest you earn is safe and secure — up to any dollar amount.
We know that the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will have a significant impact on many of our members. To assist members who are experiencing financial hardship and who meet our internal guidelines we are offering the following:
- Consumer mortgage payments can be deferred up to six (6) months;
- Hi-Ratio Consumer Mortgages with Genworth Canada may be eligible for the Homeowner Assistance Program (HOAP) to receive up to six (6) months of relief;
- Consumers can access short term loans at reasonable rates with reduced qualification criteria through our Fast Track Personal Loan Program. As part of this program members will be able to waive making payments or make interest only payments for up to six (6) months.
- Charitable Organizations can apply to have their mortgage payments deferred for up to six (6) months.
- Non-charitable Businesses can apply to have their mortgage payments deferred for up to three (3) months.
- Businesses can access short term loans at reasonable rates with reduced qualification criteria through our SME Business Quick Loan Program. As part of this program members will be able to waive making payments or make interest only payments for up to six (6) months.
We know you are looking for financial guidance and services right now. We are doing everything we can to provide support through our offices and our phone and email channels. Please bear with us as our employees deal with school closures and self-isolation which has led us to reduce our branch hours to 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM from Monday through Friday. We will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
At this time only a couple of our team members have had to self-isolate and we have the capability to allow many of our team members to work from home and provide the services you need if the situation changes. Keep in mind that our provincial telecommunications infrastructure is being stretched with so many people working or studying from home and this has impacted the responsiveness of our telephones and our internet. We appreciate your patience.
For team members who are required to self-isolate we have decided to continue paying all employees until the end of March at which time we will evaluate our next steps. The families of our team members are important to us and we don’t want team members to be worried about their income over the next two weeks while we all adjust.
We will continue to keep you informed through our website at www.christiancu.ca, our social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and our email channels.
Our credit union was formed by Christians working together to support their communities and each other through challenging and uncertain times. Let’s continue to let the light of Jesus’ love shine as we support each other through this challenging time.
John W. Veldkamp
Chief Executive Officer
Christian Credit Union
Christian Credit Union and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Posted: March 13, 2020
As you may know, the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 coronavirus a pandemic and is expecting further global spread. At this time, Christian Credit Union has not been impacted by COVID-19 and we have not had any employees show symptoms of the virus.
We encourage all of members to find their trust and hope in God as we work together as a society to stop the spread of this disease. We are taking precautionary measures to help reduce the potential impact of COVID-19 on our operations and our health system not out of a spirit of fear but as reasonable and prudent actions to ensure that our health system does not become overburdened.
These precautionary measures include:
- Implementing our pandemic illness policy and managing the issue as it relates to Christian Credit Union.
- Keeping our employees well informed and educated on hygiene practices.
- Actively monitoring employee absenteeism and travel, and requiring self-isolation where exposure to COVID-19 is possible.
You also play a role in helping us support our health system. Here’s what you can do to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19:
- If you’re not feeling well or if you have recently travelled internationally, avoid coming into a branch for your banking needs.
- Make use of our online banking services or contact a branch at 1.877.426.0506.
- If you do visit a branch, please maintain good hygiene practices such as washing your hands regularly and covering your cough or sneeze.
For additional information on COVID-19 and advice for the public, please visit the World Health Organization or Alberta Health Services websites.