At times of economic turmoil, access to financial services, particularly for the most vulnerable who do not have banking relationships, is essential to minimizing hardship and setting the stage for eventual recovery.
Recognizing this, the federal Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) considers the financial services sector to be one of sixteen vital components of the nation’s critical infrastructure (see graphic below). This sector includes non-depository “credit and financing organizations” such as traditional installment lenders.
(Graphic Source: CISA)
NILA members are mobilizing to ensure they are part of the solution to the crisis, providing emergency credit to meet critical short-term needs and working with borrowers to minimize future economic consequences and give them the best chance of recovery. They are also working with government at all levels, to advise on economic fallout and the targeting of relief packages, aswell as providing information to the public-at-large with advice on how to manage their commitments and how and where to find relief. Our sister organization AFSA has a particularly good resources page on its website.
This is what NILA members have always done, for the best part of a hundred years through wars, natural disasters, depression, recession and turmoil of all kinds. From our offices in our customers’ communities we are continuing to serve those who need us.
We are doing this in ways that minimize risks to health in accordance with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for businesses, with skeleton staff and procedures and resources for social distancing and disinfectant in place. Face-to-face meetings are being kept to a bare minimum. Online or telephone interactions are, for the time being, the new normal for customer service.
We will continue to keep the public informed with regular posts on this website.