by Ty Schwamberger, Member Solutions Manager
Through your sleep-impaired ears you hear a buzzing coming from beside you. Your eyes flutter open and you strain to see the blinking, bright red numbers on the alarm clock telling you it’s 6:00 a.m., time to start another day. You stretch and roll out of bed. You get dressed in your uniform, the same one you’ve worn for the past 25 years, then head downstairs to have a quick breakfast, before jumping in your truck and heading off to work. Your family greets you with, “Good Morning” and “How did you sleep?” You smile, respond to their question, and ask same the same in return. Everyone is still tired, but in good moods this morning, like every other day you come downstairs during the work week. Life is tiring, but good.
After completing the first job out in the field this morning you receive a radio dispatch from Chuck. A sly smile cracks your lips as you drop a few tools on the cement and head over to the cab of your truck, hoping in and grabbing the radio. Chuck is not only your boss but has been your best friend outside of work for the past 10 years. He’s about as fair of a boss and laidback of a friend that you could ever ask for in life.
“Hey buddy, what’s going on,” you ask, pulling shut the driver’s side door.
There’s a silence on the other end of the line.
You try again. “Chuck? What’s up?”
There’s some eerie static, then you hear your friend’s voice break through.
“Hey Sam, you got a few,” he asks.
“Sure. Fire away.”
The next 60 seconds are probably some of the longest in your life. As Chuck is talking, you think back to the time your first child was born, how anxious you were at the time, scared. How he’s grown into a fine, respectful young man, even if he’s still just a teenager. Then to your second child, unexpected, but nothing but pure happiness and joy when she was born. Daddy’s girl. Then, your wife. Gosh, how couldn’t of you thought about her first. She’s always been perfect in your eyes. Gosh, how you love your family and would do anything for them. Sports, church functions, working long hours…
You notice Chuck isn’t talking any longer. You have no idea for how long.
You clear your throat, wipe away the single tear that is rolling down your right cheek.
“Everything is going to be Ok,” reassures Chuck.
You hang up the phone and place your face in your hands.
* * *
You spoke to Chuck early that morning but it’s well past 6:00 p.m., your normal return home time, when you finally pull in the driveway, slowly get out of your truck and start walking towards your almost paid off house. As you open the door the delicious smell of slow-roasted pork, potatoes, and green beans waft towards you. You almost smile. Almost.
“Honey…” is all you can get out of your mouth when you see your wife, before breaking down into tears.
* * *
The next morning after some coffee and a light breakfast you start making some necessary phone calls. You begin with your first mortgage provider. It didn’t go well. Not very helpful or understanding at all. You figure the next few calls are going to follow the same script. You explaining what happened, the company telling you what they can’t do and feeling just as miserable as after you got off the call with Chuck. You dial the second number on your list anyway.
“Good morning. Thank you for calling Buckeye State Credit Union. This is Angel. How may I assist you?” says the pleasant voice on the other end of the line.
“I…I…lost my job and need to speak to someone,” you manage to get out.
“I’m so very sorry to hear that. I am happy to assist or get you to the right person. Let me pull you up and get you verified. May I have your account number?”
After giving some information and telling your story, Angel puts you through to the Member Solutions department.
* * *
The next few months are tough financially, but your family makes it through with just your wife’s income. Barely. Most of your creditors couldn’t or just plain wouldn’t do anything to help you out after losing your job and primary household income. You know that if it weren’t for Buckeye that your family really would be up the river. Not only do you have two vehicles financed through them, but a personal loan you took out for a home improvement project, along with a credit card. Buckeye was there for you when you first needed credit 30-some years ago and again now when you are in trouble and afraid of losing your family’s vehicles and damaging your credit score, which you always took great pride in. You were able to speak to their Member Solutions department and work out an agreeable payment solution to put a little less strain on your family during this difficult time in your life.
And, for that, you can’t stop the small smile that cracks the one side of your mouth.
You know things are going to be Ok.
Buckeye State Credit Union appreciates all our members and we will do everything possible to help our members in times of need. We understand things happen in life, whether it’s an unexpected expense, a change in job status or any other major life event, that can put a strain on one’s finances. However, if you don’t let us know there has been a change in circumstance, then let your account go past due, it becomes more difficult to help you.
This is why it is essential you contact our Member Solutions department and let us know as soon as possible when you believe you might be late or miss a payment on your account. The best phone number to call when this type of situation arises is: (330) 253-9197 (then select Option 5). We can then work together to find a solution that works for both you and Buckeye.
Please remember, we value your business and are here to help you. Don’t EVER hesitate to reach out at the above number and let us know if you believe there might be a late or missed payment on your account.