Minnesota State Employees have had a rough go over the past several weeks – first with being coined as “non-essential”, then having the door closed on them without a paycheck. The good news is that everyone is back to work; the flip side is that many are now experiencing the aftershock of losing a paycheck.

With over 22,000 individuals out of work recently, it was interesting to compare the responses by local businesses, in particular financial organizations, to the state shutdown. For example, one big bank appeared to be SO generous to offer the chance to skip one month of a payment on a loan (if you qualified). Yes, that could help, don’t get me wrong. And comments from their customers spoke to the appreciation felt by these efforts. But think about it – is this little token of help overrated simply because as consumers, we’re accustomed to receiving nothing from the big banks? Is this a case of the Stockholm Syndrome – they give us anything, and we’re happy; just like getting a crust of bread when you’re starving, versus a feast?

Thankfully, there are organizations that view this situation a little differently. It is not just during a state shutdown that Affinity Plus offers unique programs and financial assistance; instead, this is how we do business every day. Together, we will work with you to find a personalized financial solution that may involve:

• Free financial assessment
• Loan options, including skip-a-payment
• Interest-only payment
• Budgeting assistance

In addition to all of the individualized solutions that we created, we also set aside $25 million to help homeowners impacted by the state shutdown refinance their mortgages at no cost and with no hassle. Through this, we were able to provide relief in the form of their biggest financial obligation and also ensure that, in the future if anything happens, we can actually do more for them. When you do more with Affinity Plus, Affinity Plus is able to do more for you. Not because we base our decisions on the amount of money you have or money we make from you, but because we don’t have to wade through the red tape or the bureaucracy, policies, or procedures designed to control costs and make people into numbers that other organizations have built their business model’s on. Without the interference of policies intended to give control to the system and the people at the top, we put the power to do what’s right for each person into the hands of the people that know you best – the Member Advisor you are talking to on the phone, in the branch, or online.

There’s no limit to what we will do, and how we will help our members in any situation. We encourage you to push us, and challenge our creativity so that we can find a way to make a difference for you. At Affinity Plus we always remember it’s your money, NOT ours. You will always be essential to us, and we’ll throw you more than a crust of bread when you’re hungry.