The coronavirus is more than just a health threat.
The precautionary measures taken are likely to have wide-ranging effects, including some serious financial effects on the average person.
Late payment fees, overdraft fees, or early withdrawal penalties can make things worse. Conversely, waiving fees and penalties can ease a difficult situation.
Many banks encourage people to use their online and mobile banking options to encourage social distancing.
Banks also advise customers to take steps to protect themselves from fraud, especially phishing scams. When you receive an email from your bank, do not click the links or give out your personal information. Go directly to the bank’s website or call the bank if you have any questions or concerns. Here’s what the Federal Trade Commission says about this type of scam.
Below is a list of banks that have shared the type of support available for customers affected by the coronavirus. We will update this list as more information is released.
Bank of America
On March 19, Bank of America announced that it was taking the following steps to support its customers:
Mortgages and Home Equity Lines: Customers can request deferral of payments, with those payments added at the end of the loan.
Credit Cards: Customers can request that payments and refunds be deferred for late fees.
Car Loans: Customers can request to defer payments, with payments added at the end of the loan.
Bank Accounts: Customers can request fee refunds, including overdraft fees, insufficient funds fees, and monthly maintenance fees.
The bank says there will be no negative reporting from the credit bureau for current customers.
In addition, the bank will pause all evictions, withdrawals, and foreclosure sales. Read the full list of support available to Bank of America customers.
The bank encourages customers to use online and mobile banking during social distancing. The bank has also implemented CDC’s cleaning guidelines to protect its employees and those who need to use its stationary locations. A list of the branches that are still open can be found in the bank’s location tool
The bank encourages anyone “negatively affected by a coronavirus disease” to contact them.
For more information, see the bank’s coronavirus information page.
Phone: Listed on the back of debit and credit cards
Capital One is asking customers to use online and mobile banking to limit the spread of the virus.
Any customer in need of help is asked to contact the bank. However, the bank warns customers not to expect waiting times for calls, which may be longer than usual due to customer traffic.
For more information, see the bank’s coronavirus help page.
Chase Bank is promoting the use of online and mobile banking to limit the spread of the coronavirus. For the benefit of customers visiting physical locations and ATMs, the bank’s staff use EPA approved detergents to keep screens and keyboards clean.
Customers in need of assistance are encouraged to contact the bank for assistance. The bank offers three types of help:
Trip changes and cancellations
Personal accounts and payments
For more information, see the bank’s dedicated Coronavirus COVID-19 Readiness website.
Phone: Listed on bank statements and the back of debit / credit cards
Citibank encourages its customers to use their online and mobile banking options to encourage social distancing. The bank has also stepped up its daily cleaning practices with stronger disinfectants on heavily touched surfaces.
A temporary plan has also been implemented to help those affected by the coronavirus, which has now been in existence for 30 days since March 9:
Customers should contact the bank for help obtaining waivers from monthly service fees and early CD withdrawal penalties.
Small business owners should also contact the bank for help with exemptions from monthly service fees and remote deposit collection fees, as well as penalties for early CD withdrawals.
The bank also offers its standard utility programs, including debt collection forbearance, credit line increases, and mortgage hardship programs.
Keep an eye on the Citibank coronavirus information page for updates.
Phone: Varies by account and product; Check website
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank encourages its customers to use their mobile and online banking options and limit their use of physical locations. However, the bank has also escalated its cleaning procedures at its physical locations for the benefit of employees and customers.
The bank notes that specific guidelines are in place to help people facing disasters relating to auto loans, credit card balances, and home-backed loans.
Please visit the bank’s coronavirus impact page for more information.
Telephone (customer): 800-972-3030, Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EUROPEAN SUMMER TIME; Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EUROPEAN SUMMER TIME.
Telephone (loan): 866-601-6391, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. European summer time
PNC Bank has encouraged customers struggling with coronavirus to contact them to see what options are available.
The bank encourages customers to use their mobile and online banking tools. The bank has also put in place contingency plans to avoid disruption to service.
Please visit the bank’s coronavirus update page for more information.
Phone: 1-888-762-2265, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EUROPEAN SUMMER TIME; Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. European summer time
SunTrust Bank encourages customers experiencing financial difficulties to contact the bank for assistance. Some of the help available include:
Customers with consumer credit, personal credit cards, business credit cards, and business loans are provided with payment facilitation assistance.
ATM surcharges are temporarily waived.
Customers get 5% cashback when they use their BB&T and SunTrust credit cards to make qualifying purchases at grocery stores and pharmacies. (This is available until April 15, 2020.)
The bank also encourages customers to use mobile and online banking instead of traveling to a stationary location.
For more information, see the bank’s dedicated coronavirus information page.
Phone (BB&T): 800-226-5228
Phone (SunTrust): 877-820-2103
The US bank encourages customers to use mobile and online banking tools. In addition, the bank has reduced the opening times at its locations to 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to protect the health of its employees.
The bank temporarily adjusted some products, mainly loans. Please see the Coronavirus page below for more details.
Wells Fargo is asking customers to use mobile and online banking to reduce social exposure and is asking customers to check their locations page for changes to their brick and mortar locations.
They ask customers who are having difficulty due to coronavirus to contact them.
Please see the bank’s coronavirus response page for more information.
Tyler Omoth is an employee of The Penny Hoarder.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief Caitlin Constantine contributed to this report.