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COVID-19 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

 

As your credit union, we recognize that, in the face of ongoing uncertainty, you may look for a little guidance or need some additional support. But more importantly, what you want is peace of mind. And we're here to help you with too.

To learn more about how to access your account, current branch availability, member assistance programs, and other resources we have in place as you continue to navigate the unfamiliar road ahead, please see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

 

1. I received a call/text from someone claiming to represent First Entertainment Credit Union related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), asking for my information. What should I do?

We urge you not to provide any personal information because these emails and phone calls are not from First Entertainment. We do not initiate outbound calls or emails to our members specifically asking for your personal information and encourage you to be mindful of individuals who look to take advantage of those (that may be) impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Known as phishing, it is a way to acquire personal details by posing as a legitimate company - usually by phone or email - to gain access to financial information and compromise banking accounts. Should you receive a phone call in which you are asked for your personal information, hang up immediately! If you are concerned about your account or believe you may have provided your personal information to a third party, contact us directly.

If you believe you have received a fraudulent email that claims to be from First Entertainment:

  • Do not reply to the email
  • Do not click on any of the links embedded in the email
  • Call us at 888.800.3328 to report the email
  • After reporting it for investigation, delete it
  • Then monitor your account and call us if you notice any unusual activity

The best way to protect yourself is to be aware. Learn which type of scam is currently most prevalent and how you can regain your Peace of Mind.

 

2. What is the COVID-19 Stimulus Check Planning Tool?

Created and made available by the Common Cents Lab, the Check Planning Tool provides members a way to compute how much money you are eligible to receive from the coronavirus checks promised by the U.S. Government and how best to budget those funds through a series of questions.

To access, click here, or copy and paste the following link in your browser’s address bar: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8G1vDNkz27VGIMR

 

3. How would this planning tool help me?

Whether the planning tool helps or not will likely depend on how engaged, you are with it. With that being said, there is much evidence that has shown that simple planning prompts can improve decision-making. It only takes about 10 minutes to answer a series of questions intended to help you create a simple plan that will make sure you get the most from your stimulus check.

 

4. What if I am worried about private and sensitive data?

The planning tool does not collect any private or sensitive data at all. You will be provided a summary of your plan through a website explicitly generated for you at the end of the tool. Because the website is intended for temporary use, it does not store or maintain private or sensitive data.

 

5. What happens if I don’t receive all or part of my stimulus payment(s)?

The IRS will be providing a Recovery Rebate Credit for eligible individuals to recoup those funds on their 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-R. You can view the sample worksheet here or by visiting IRS website directly https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-dft/i1040gi--dft.pdf.

 

6. If I have to call First Entertainment, should I expect longer than normal wait times?

As the global impact of COVID-19 continues, we are diligently working behind the scenes to help keep call wait times low. We still encourage you to utilize Digital Banking and our Mobile App to have the best member experience possible. So, if you're not already signed up for Digital Banking,  register now. You can also click ATMs & Branches to find the First Entertainment or CO-OP ATM most convenient for you.

Sign in Online or to the Mobile App to access your account online 24/7 from anywhere to :

  • Check your balance
  • View transactions
  • Make check deposits
  • Pay bills
  • Apply for a loan
  • Activate or report your Debit Card lost/stolen
  • Find nearby ATMs
  • Send us a secure message
  • Withdraw funds by check
  • Transfer funds to another U.S. based bank or credit union account
  • And more...

 

7. What actions are you taking to ensure the continued safety of your operations?

Everyone’s safety remains our top priority. You should know:

  • Our work-from-home policy remains in effect for the majority of our staff in effort to further curtail spreading the virus. We also continue to exercise enhanced deep cleaning protocols in areas that do require on-site staff.
  • All individuals onsite must wear a facemask or face-covering. Visitors will be asked to remove your mask briefly for security and/or identification purposes.
  • In adherence to social distancing recommendations, we are limiting the total number of individuals allowed inside at one time. Individuals not conducting credit union business, or providing assistance to those who are, will not be permitted to enter.

 

8. When will you re-open the branches?

We are excited to announce that our Burbank, Culver City, Hollywood#, and Santa Clarita. Branches have re-opened and are serving members by appointment only

Appointments are limited, and a maximum time of 15 minutes is strictly enforced. Slots are available Monday through Friday from 9 AM - 1 PM and 2 PM - 4 PM. To schedule a time that is most convenient for you, click on the Make an Appointment button located at the top of the website just to the left of the Digital Banking Log-in or by calling our Contact Center at 888.800.3328.

#Hollywood Hours are 9AM - 12PM and 1PM - 4PM

 

9. How long will the branch operational changes be in effect?

These planned operational changes will be in effect until further notice. We are continuing to monitor the information shared by local, state, and federal sources. We will reassess our availability when we can sensibly ensure the well-being of our members and employees.

Until then, we remain committed to serving you both virtually and personally with:

  • Digital Banking and Mobile App always open 365/24/7
  • Contact Center team members ready to assist you over the phone at 888.800.3328 or by appointment
  • Updates and communications via email and our website

 

10. Are there other ways I can access my account?

We strongly encourage our members to use First Entertainment's digital tools and other resources available for 24/7 self-service banking. Members can access many services through Digital Banking or by using the Mobile App. From there, members can make payments, view transactions, check balances, find an ATM, and more.

 

11. Am I still be able to access ATMs?

First Entertainment ATMs will remain open 24/7, as well as the nearly 30,000 CO-OP Network ATMs nationwide - including those that accept deposits. Plus, we have temporarily increased the daily ATM withdrawal limit allowing you access to more of your funds to ease current financial constraints.

 

12. How can members find a nearby ATM?

Simply click on ATMs & Branches on the Mobile App or on firstent.org to find your nearest CO-OP ATM.

 

13. How will transactions that cannot be performed at an ATM be handled?

Access to funds and banking services are essential, and we remain committed to maintaining the availability of critical services via our 24/7 Digital Services and nationwide fee-free ATM network. That way, you can bank from home safely with features like Mobile Deposit and Online Bill Pay.

For your convenience, most appointments can easily be held right over the phone, so you never have the leave the comfort and safety of your home. If you do need to meet with someone, in-person appointments are limited (in adherence with current COVID-19 social distancing guidelines) and only available at the following locations:

  • Hollywood (Forest Lawn Dr.)
  • Burbank (Olive Ave.)
  • Culver City (W. Washington Blvd.)
  • Santa Clarita (McBean Pkwy.)

Plus, you always have the option of speaking with one of our representatives at 888.800.3328, via Chat, as well as by Secure Message. If you need us, we are here for you.

 

14. If my account is overdrawn when my federal Economic Impact Payment (EIP) is deposited, can I access my stimulus funds?

At First Entertainment, typically, when accounts are overdrawn, funds deposited are automatically applied to cover negative balances. However, due to the pandemic, we are committed to ensuring you have full access to your CARES Act government stimulus funds. Please contact us if you have questions or would like further information on ways we can help you.

 

15. I applied for a loan, when should I expect a call back?

Loan applications are being processed in the order they are received. Please expect processing times to take up to three (3) hours (when submitted during normal business hours).

 

16. What types of financial hardship assistance is First Entertainment offering?

As we have done in similar situations such as the recent wildfires and other natural disasters, we are working with members on a case-by-case basis. First Entertainment's additional assistance for members impacted by the coronavirus includes

  • Visa® Credit Cards: Skip payment option.
  • Personal Loans: Deferred payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.
  • Auto Loans: Deferred payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.
  • Mortgage Loans: Forbearance on payments can be requested here.
  • Home Equity Loans/Lines of Credit: Members can request to Defer payments, with payments added to the end of their amortized HELOCs and members with Interest-Only HELOCs can request a Forbearance on their payments.

For all of the above instances, there will be no negative credit bureau reporting during the deferment period. Also, we may be able to offer you a low-interest bridge loan to help you get back on your feet. To learn more, give us a call at 888.800.3328.

Your financial well-being is our priority. It would be best if you reached out to us to find the right solution for you. To protect our financial cooperative, we may, in some instances, require proof of your hardship.

 

17. Am I able to open a new business account remotely?

Absolutely. For those interested in opening an account, please reach out us via email at BusinessBanking@firstent.org and we will contact you with information on how to proceed.

 

18. What other conventional financing options are available for business owners?

We currently offer the following lending products for our Business Banking members:

  • Business Lines of Credit
  • Business Visa Credit Cards
  • Business Unsecured Term Loans
  • Business Vehicle Loans
  • Commercial Real Estate Loans

 

19. What happens if I am having trouble paying my insurance premiums?

Give our agents a call at 323.845.4495 during normal business hours to discuss options such as payment deferment, lowering your premium, and availability of refunds offered by the insurance companies we work with. You can also obtain additional details and assistance by visiting the insurance carriers' websites directly or click on the options listed below.

 

20. My income has been impacted by the COVID-19 virus, can you help?

If you find yourself experiencing financial hardship, please contact us.

 

21. Are there other avenues of assistance available for members?

Yes. Government agencies, as well as many entertainment industry and industry related organizations, have established programs designed specifically for those impacted by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Members can view a list in the Links & Contacts section.

 

22. Does my Visa Credit Card have Travel Insurance?

First Entertainment's card benefits are available on our website. Some cards may offer additional Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, which may reimburse cardholders for unused, non-refundable portions of their purchase if the trip is canceled or interrupted due to a covered accident sickness of an immediate family member. We recommend you contact the benefits administrator directly toll-free at 800.847.2911 for full details and assistance.

 

23. My travel plans have been canceled, and the charges on my card have not been removed. What are my options?

If you incur a loss due to canceled or interrupted travel, we encourage you to reach out to the merchant directly since it is often the fastest way to resolve a dispute. If you need help from First Entertainment, you can contact us directly at 888.800.3328.

 


*During branch lobby closures, information regarding your EDD payment options is available on the Economic Development Department website.

** For complete details, contact the Credit Union at 888.800.3328 during normal business hours.