Last week, we sent an email, notifying our community of the steps we are taking to ensure the personal and financial health of our members. In that email, we promised to provide you with timely updates regarding our response, which is why we are now dedicating a portion of our Help Center to updates around the COVID-19 virus and its impact on Austin.
In this section, we’ll address the changes we’ve undergone to ensure the health of our team, our dedication to complete remote service, and the multiple ways we are prepared to handle any future financial uncertainty.
- Amplify Credit Union, like other financial institutions, has been deemed "critical infrastructure" by the Department of the Treasury and will be exempted from Austin's city-wide shelter-in-place order.
- ATM services and night drops will be available at all branch locations. Drive-thru services will be available at our Esperanza and Pond Springs branches.
- In-person transactions will be available by appointment at our Esperanza and Pond Springs locations. Call 512-874-7102 (Esperanza) or 512-874-7107 (Pond Springs) to schedule your appointment.
- If you are worried about your ability to make your upcoming loan payments, Amplify is offering deferment options available to eligible borrowers. See below for more information.
- If you included your direct deposit information on your 2018 or 2019 tax returns, you Economic Impact Payment (or stimulus check) will be directly deposited to your Amplify account. Visit the IRS website to check your upcoming payment status.
Amplify Credit Union Changes
How Often Are You Reviewing Your COVID-19 Safety Plans?
As members of the Austin business community, we receive frequent updates from city and state officials on how best to combat the spread of COVID-19. For example, through the ongoing support of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, our leadership team has participated in conference calls with Austin Police Chief Brian Manley to determine the best way to prepare our employees and our members for a local outbreak.
As long as the COVID-19 outbreak persists, our leadership team will meet daily to ensure that our internal processes are in keeping with the most recent Texas Department of Health guidance.
Is Amplify Impacted by Austin's Shelter-in-Place Order?
On Tuesday, March 24, Mayor Steve Adler issued a shelter-in-place order for all Austin homes and businesses. This order will make official many of the COVID-19 practices already being followed by our community.
As a financial institution, Amplify has been deemed part of Austin's "critical infrastructure" by the Department of the Treasury. This allows us to operate in our adapted capacity for the foreseeable future. Our in-person services will include:
- ATM services at all branch locations;
- Night drop services at all branch locations;
- Drive-thru banking at our Esperanza and Pond Springs branches;
- By-appointment banking at our Esperanza and Pond Springs branches;
- Loan closing services at our Parmer branch.
As always, we encourage members to utilize our mobile check deposit feature to initiate remote deposits of their checks. For more information, please visit the "Submitting a Mobile Check Deposit" page in our Help Center.
For those scheduling an in-person appointment with our lending or branch teams, please note that we are continuing to take extra precautions to protect the health of our members. We encourage you to discuss these steps with your Amplify representative before coming to our branch.
Will You Be Closing Your Branch Locations?
Beginning on Thursday, March 19, all services at our Cedar Park, La Frontera, Parmer, and University Commons branch locations will be temporarily discontinued. We will, however, continue to offer ATMs transactions and night drops at all Amplify locations and drive-through services at Esperanza and Pond Springs.
For those in need of in-branch support, we will also offer appointments on an as-needed basis. Please contact the above branches directly to set up an in-person appointment:
- Esperanza Appointment: (512) 874-7102
- Pond Springs Appointment: (512) 874-7107
To ensure the continued health of our teammates, we are asking that people scheduling in-person appointments be prepared to answer the following three questions:
- Have you or someone you are sheltering-in-place with returned from international travel within the past 14 days?
- Have you or someone you are sheltering-in-place with come in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
- Have you or someone you are sheltering-in-place with experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms within the past few days, including (but not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES, we may be unable to provide you with in-person service until you have completed a 14-day quarantine period. You are encouraged to contact us again once your quarantine has been completed.
Finally, Amplify is encouraging the majority of its team to work from home until at least Friday, April 3, with a decision made at that time whether to extend our work from home hours. This ensures that our employees will follow all social distancing best practices and be in a position to look after their families.
How Will This Affect Existing Amplify Products and Service?
As we learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our members, the team at Amplify will make changes to our existing products and services to ensure that members’ money is accessible and secure. To that end, below is a list of updated product terms and conditions.
- As of Friday, April 17, Amplify has adjusted its policy regarding mobile deposit holds. Whereas members would previously be able to access $200.00 of their deposit total no later than the first business day after the day of your mobile deposit, now members will be able to access $1,000.00.
If you are looking for additional information on our forbearance plans or skip-a-pay programs, please read the “I'm Worried About Missing an Upcoming Payment. Can Amplify Help?” section below. You can also contact Member Support at (512) 836-5901 with additional questions.
Will Phone and Online Services Continue During This Period?
Over the past few years, our team has invested heavily in providing online solutions to our membership. This will allow us to offer our full range of financial services during regular business hours. From online customer support to loan officer consultations, our team is standing by to help you navigate this period of uncertainty.
For more information on member support, please visit our “Contacting Member Support and Customer Service” page or contact our call center at (512) 836-5901.
CARES Act and Loan Deferments
When Will I Receive My Stimulus Check?
As part of the CARES Act, Congress authorized a series of Economic Impact Payments (also known as Stimulus Checks). These payments are intended to help Americans navigate the economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible payees can expect payment through one of these three methods:
- If you included direct deposit information on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, your payment will be deposited by the IRS into the same account as that year’s tax refund.
- If you did not include direct deposit information on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, the IRS will mail your check to the address on record.
- If you did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, please provide your contact information on the IRS Economic Impact Payment Non-Filer page as soon as possible.
We also recommend enabling direct deposit account alerts in Online Banking to receive immediate notification when these funds become available.
Please note that Amplify Credit Union does not have any additional information regarding payment amounts and upcoming schedules. Visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment portal to see your stimulus check status and payment method.
Will Amplify Remove Funds from My Economic Impact Payment?
Recently, some members have expressed concern that their financial institution will automatically apply Economic Impact Payments to outstanding loan balances. Amplify Credit Union will not automatically apply any portion of your stimulus check to other account balances. If you are concerned about the status of a current loan, we encourage you to reach out to our Loan Servicing team as soon as possible to explore alternative payment options. We also strongly recommend you double-check any active automatic payments before these funds are deposited.
In some rare cases, members may see their stimulus check posted to an account with a negative balance. In these instances, part of the payment will be used to bring your current account balance back to zero ($0.00). Your payment total will then be your Economic Impact Payment amount minus the negative balance.
I'm Worried About Missing an Upcoming Payment. Can Amplify Help?
We recognize that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may have a profound impact on our members' finances. For families worried about making upcoming loan payments, we want you to be aware of relief options available and accommodations that may be possible related to COVID-19. We’re able to provide the most assistance before loan payments are late, so we urge you to consider one of these steps as soon as you believe you may be at risk.
- Consumer Loans: Amplify members with consumer loans, such as an auto loan or a Homeowners Express loan, are eligible to apply for our Skip-a-Pay program. That allows members to defer a loan payment for 1-3 months. For those facing financial hardship related to COVID-19, we’re currently waiving the $35.00 processing fee typically associated with this program. Please visit the Skip-a-Pay section of our website to learn more about the application process.
- Mortgage Loans: Members whose mortgage is with Amplify and who are affected by COVID-19 can ask to be placed on a forbearance plan. If approved, that means mortgage payments are suspended for 90 days, offering some breathing room to stabilize finances. Please contact our loan servicing team at (512) 519-5417 to learn more about your repayment options.
- Commercial Loans: We are currently recommending current borrowers seek out Direct Disaster loans with the Small Business Administration (SBA). For those businesses in need of a deferral, our lending team has developed a multi-step review process that may result in an extended deferment. For more information, please contact your dedicated commercial loan officer.
If you have questions about your current loan or need advice on how to begin the deferment application process, please contact our member support team at (512) 836-5901.
Can I Secure a Paycheck Protection Program Loan with Amplify?
Amplify Credit Union is a preferred Small Business Administration lender, which means we are authorized to provide loans through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. However, since this program was launched on April 3, demand for PPP loans has been unprecedented and our ability to process applications limited. This is why we strongly encourage applicants to first apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the SBA.
To apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, please take the following steps:
- Review the SBA’s Interim Final Rule.
- Use the PPP Eligibility sheet attached to determine eligibility status.
- Use the PPP Loan Amount Calculation sheet attached to determine funds request.
- Complete, sign, and submit the attached PPP Borrower Application Formattached along with supporting documentation.
- Supporting documentation includes payroll documentation, lease or mortgage interest, and utilities documentation from February 2019 through January 2020 (12-months). More information can be found in the Interim Final Rule and the PPP Loan Amount Calculation documents above.
Once your application information is complete, you will need to submit the material through the Amplify Secure Message Center. Please refer to our Secure Message Center Guide for additional information. Our team will acknowledge receipt of your application within 10-15 business days.
We appreciate your patience as we work through this process, and look forward to supporting the small businesses in our community any way we can. To that end, we’d like to remind you of the impending Austin Business and Non-Profit Recovery Loan program offered by the City of Austin. We’d also encourage our non-profit partners to explore PeopleFund’s Disaster Relief Bridge Loan Program.
Amplify Credit Union Account Protection
Are My Funds With Amplify Insured?
Amplify Credit Union is a member of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an independent federal agency that supervises and regulates credit unions across the country. The NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.
This means that Amplify is federally insured by the NCUA, and therefore your deposits are insured at least up to $250,000. However, if you have outside retirement accounts or joint accounts on deposit with us, these accounts can be structured to provide insurance in excess of $250,000.
If you have multiple accounts with Amplify and would like to review your insurance amounts, please click on the calculator below to visit NCUA’s Share Insurance Estimator.
How Much Does Amplify Keep in Financial Reserve?
To help ensure the financial security of our member deposits, Amplify's current net worth ratio of 9.2% is well above the 7.0% level required by the industry to be well-capitalized. We currently hold more than $20M of net worth above what is required by industry regulations. This amount equates to more than our last three years of annual net income combined.
We have also nearly doubled our cash on hand in 2020, bringing our total to over $100M. This, plus our various liquid investments, gives Amplify $170M of funding to weather any financial storm.