Mortgage Program Assists Out-of-Work Member
August 25, 2010
|Greg Wise, a Chicago Local 134 member, got help paying his mortgage from UnionPlus.
When the work switched off suddenly, Chicago Local 134 member Greg Wise of Palatine, Ill., “went from working full time down to zero.” After two months of no paychecks he was feeling the financial strain. That’s when he turned on the power of his IBEW Union Plus Mortgage and tapped into its assistance program.
For Wise, the grandson and great-grandson of IBEW members, becoming an electrician had been a career change. He had achieved a degree in electrical engineering before discovering that he didn’t really like the work.
“I came home from work one day and said to my grandfather, ‘Pop, I can’t do this anymore,’” Wise says. “He’s the one who suggested I consider being an electrician.”
And after several additional years of training and education, that’s just what Wise did: a career decision that has given him regular work, good wages and professional satisfaction for more than two decades.
In fact, the work had been so steady that when Wise refinanced his home with the IBEW Union Plus Mortgage Program, he barely paid attention to the assistance program. “I was working so much then, I figured there would be no reason to use it.”
Wise had forgotten all about the assistance that came with his IBEW Union Plus Mortgage. But after more than eight weeks without work, he got a reminder. “I opened up my mortgage statement, wondering how I was going to pay it that month, when I read the words at the bottom that mentioned Union Plus Mortgage Assistance. I thought, ‘Hey, I think I have that.’”
Union Plus Mortgage Assistance is a unique program that can help cover your mortgage payments in the event of unemployment, disability, strike or lockout. The program offers no-interest loans and an affordable repayment schedule for union members, as well as their parents and children, who have had an IBEW Union Plus Mortgage for more than a year. The first $1,000 of the assistance loan does not need to be repaid. Since its inception, this special union benefit program has provided more than $7.3 million in assistance to union members.
Wise found that getting approved for the benefit was quick and easy. But still he wasn’t really sure what to expect. It wasn’t until he opened the next month’s mortgage statement and saw that the full monthly payment had been made to his account that he realized how great this union-members-only benefit was.
The Union Plus Mortgage Assistance Program paid his mortgage for three months, which was just what he needed to get through a tough time. Today things aren’t quite back to normal, he says, but the work has been steady enough that he’s able to pay his bills and repay his no interest mortgage assistance loan for as little as $75 a month. Wise is so happy with the IBEW Union Plus Mortgage Program that he’s started looking into the other benefits that Union Plus offers to IBEW members.
Considering the purchase or refinance of a home? The IBEW Union Plus Mortgage Program, provided by Chase, offers a full range of mortgage products for IBEW members, their parents and children. To learn more about the IBEW Union Plus Mortgage Program, call 1-800-848-6466 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. E.T. Mon – Fri; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. E.T. Sat).
If you have had an IBEW Union Plus Mortgage, Credit Card or Insurance policy for at least a year and are facing financial difficulty, the Union SAFE program may offer assistance. Unemployment, disability, and hospital care grants are available to Union Plus program participants.
Even if you do not participate in a Union Plus program, help may still be available through education grants, free home and credit counseling, and a free medical bill negotiation service.
To learn about the more than 40 Union Plus programs available to IBEW members, visit UnionPlus.org. In addition to its credit card, mortgage and credit counseling programs, Union Plus offers discounts on AT&T wireless service, Goodyear tires, movie tickets and much more.
Home page photo used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user woodleywonderworks.