Some banks allow payment deferral as customers navigate COVID-19

Some banks are encouraging businesses to apply for hardship loans or letting customers defer payments in certain defined instances.

Not all banks are taking these steps or offering these forms of relief. Don’t assume your regular payments aren’t due. Check with your institution before altering your payment schedule.

Fifth Third and Key Bank each said they were offering payment deferrals of at least 90 days in some instances.

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KeyBank said it will defer payment for at least 90 days for “clients facing economic hardship due to the spread of COVID-19.”

Likewise, Fifth Third Bank this week said it was offering a payment deferral program for up to 90 days, no late fees and “a range of loan modification options.” The bank said it is also waiving the note processing fee for new “fast capital” loans for six months.

Key also announced a childcare reimbursement plan for its employees.

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“There will be no negative reporting to credit bureaus,” Key said in a statement this week. “Interest will continue to accrue during deferral. Clients can contact their local branch or 1-800-KEY2YOU (539-2968).”

“KeyBank’s purpose is to help our clients, our employees, and our communities thrive. That is true in good times and in challenging times,” said Chris Gorman, Key president and chief operating officer. “We are already seeing the economic impact of COVID-19 across our communities.”

Fifth Third said it was extending “a payment deferral program for up to 90 days, no late fees and a range of loan modification options. We are waiving the note processing fee for new Fifth Third Fast Capital loans for six months.”

Fifth Third said it will also “refund select fees for 90 days for business banking deposit accounts and services.”

And Fifth Third said it is also “giving a special payment to employees who are providing essential banking services to customers during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Fifth Third will provide its customer service and other employees who work on site a special payment of up to $1000, which will be paid in $500 installments in April and May, that bank said in an email.

“We understand that many of our small businesses are struggling right now to meet immediate needs,” Greg Carmichael, chairman, president and chief executive of Fifth Third Bancorp, said in a statement. “We are proactively taking steps to help lessen the financial strain on our small business owners by providing financial expertise and encouraging them to contact our team or the Small Business Administration.”

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