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Check out these tips to banking during COVID-19, and play Just For Funds for a shot at winning $1,000.
Yep, we get it. Things are weird right now because evvvvverrrrrrryone is tie-dyeing their white sweatsuits, asking their mailmen what happened to Carole Baskin’s husband, and worst of all, making irreversible changes to their hair (what did your hair ever do to deserve DIY bangs?)
But it’s not all bad, seriously.
Even though we may be embarking on confusing and unprecedented times, there is a lot we can be learning right now. I mean, we’re learning how to stay self-motivated while learning online, how to stay connected through video chat and Jackbox games (Quiplash for the win), and when we’re not playing Jackbox, we’re getting jacked through all our home workouts (an even bigger win). Not to mention, we’re even learning how to navigate our personal finances digitally, with some of our incomes being impacted and our banks being temporarily shut down.
Speaking of banking, we recently ran a poll of Student Life Network members that show 52% of SLNer’s are confident their bank will help them in times of financial struggle.
And they’re right! Phew, some good news we all needed.
For this special edition of Just for Funds, we’re going to break down some of the ways our favorite bank (CIBC, obviously) is providing you with financial relief and tools to maximize your savings and replenish any lost income you may have faced caused by COVID-19.
NOTE: while each bank may vary in terms of their COVID-19 response, we’re utilizing our lead partner CIBC simply as an example. If you’re not familiar with your bank’s COVID-19 response, you should reach out to them directly (or better yet, switch to CIBC).
BANK RELIEF PROGRAMS
Not sure what bank relief programs are? They’re the bank’s way of providing financial support during times like this where you need it most, and more importantly, peace of mind that everything is going to be A-OK.
- Deferred payments on credit – whether you have a credit card, line of credit or personal loan, CIBC is allowing clients whose financial situation has been impacted by COVID-19 to defer upcoming payments up to two months.
- Interest rate cuts – CIBC was first to announce that their clients can benefit from an effective lower interest rate of 10.99% that will be applied as a rebate on your account for a limited time.
- CIBC Pace It™- To support their clients during this time, CIBC is providing credit card purchase flexibility through CIBC Pace It, their installment plan feature, which now offers lower interest rates for purchases of $100◊ or more1. It also allows you to spread out your payments over 6, 12, or 24 months. Plus, they’re also rebating the one-time installment plan fee of 1.5% of the purchase amount until June 30, 20202.
If you’re a CIBC client, you can learn more about their relief programs here. If you bank elsewhere, visit your bank’s website for more information.
GOVERNMENT RELIEF PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS
- Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) – The Government of Canada launched the CESB to help post-secondary students and recent graduates with the challenges posed by COVID-19. For program details, visit Government of Canada support for students and recent graduates impacted by COVID-19.
With times being strange right now, many of us have shifted towards an online way of doing things – especially when it comes to banking. Here are some online banking resources to consider using during this time:
- Register for Online / Mobile Banking – most transactions can be done online or through your CIBC Mobile Banking® app, and you can even apply for new products (like a credit card). In fact, you can even apply some of the relief programs we’ve mentioned above online as well. If you bank with CIBC and haven’t yet set up CIBC Online or Mobile Banking, click here or text CIBC to 101010. If you’re not with CIBC, simply check your bank’s website.
- Credit Monitoring – it’s always a good idea to know your credit score (if you’re not sure why….check this out). If you’ve got the CIBC Mobile Banking app mentioned above, you can check your credit score for free by selecting “Check Credit Score” from the app menu. If not, you can sign-up for Borrowell and use this service to keep an eye on your score. These services do not impact your credit rating, and are completely free!
- Visa* Debit – You can use the Visa Debit feature of your CIBC Advantage Debit Card® to make online purchases like food delivery or online shopping, directly through your chequing account. Students who bank with CIBC get unlimited free transactions3, including Visa Debit.
- Interac® e-Transfer Service – Need to pay back your friend for the package of TP they left on your porch for you? (thanks again Dana…you’re a lifesaver). Now that people are taking to literally washing their cash to make sure it’s free of germs, it’s probably safer to just use Interac e-Transfer service to settle up. If you bank with CIBC, these are free and unlimited3 and give you a safe way to transfer funds (if done properly….see below).
WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS
Crooks suck. Seriously. Have you ever met a nice pirate? We didn’t think so.
When times are uncertain, and fear is at a high, crooks and scam artists see an opportunity to engage in fraudulent activities. Keep an eye out for these types of fraud to reduce your chances of being scammed:
- Phishing – Fraudsters try to gain access to your banking information by sending fake emails and texts, which claim to be from your bank and will often request your PIN, SIN or any other personal information they could use to steal your identity or enter your bank account. If you receive suspicious emails or texts with links, double-check the link to make sure you’re being directed to your bank’s official website.
- Interac e-Transfer Fraud – Fraudsters can steal your Interac e-Transfer transactions if you don’t secure your information. Don’t include the answer in your security question when sending money, or share the answer via text, email or via social media. Did you know in 2018, approximately $132 billion was sent via Interac e-Transfer service in Canada4? Scammers are just looking for ways to take a piece of that pie!
- Threatening Messages– Emails, calls and texts claiming to be from a bank, CRA or RCMP demanding your bank information or SIN along with a threat that you could be imprisoned or fined are most likely from a criminal. Remember that these organizations will have your personal information on file and won’t ask you to share such information. PRO TIP: Never share your personal information, including your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or banking information, like your PINs or passwords with anyone.
Learn more about protecting yourself from fraud by visiting the CIBC fraud prevention page on their website.
SCHOLARSHIPS & MORE
Virtual props to CIBC for always helping us help you succeed! As our lead partner they’re the engine that drives our life-changing giveaways like Canada’s Luckiest Student & Full Ride, as well as our smaller ongoing contest like Just for Funds. Recently they’ve been working tirelessly to find even more fun and creative ways to help students like you feel supported, financially. Here’s a few things you should check out.
- New Scholarships – On top of the thousands of dollars that were already up for grabs on our 99 Scholarships site, CIBC just added new categories supporting initiatives such as mental health, supporting local business, female empowerment and appreciation for our roommates….err…parents. Submitting an application could put $1,000 in your pocket*.
- Online Workshops – The teams at SLN and CIBC have come together to help boost your skills from the comfort of your couch, by helping you learn the secrets of job hunting, personal branding, productivity, personal finance and more. They’re completely free and are taught by a leading panel of experts. Register today.
We want to extend a major thanks to CIBC for helping us show up for students, like you, when you need it most. Now that you’re an expert at banking during COVID-19, you should play this month’s round of Just for Funds Trivia, you could win $1,000 just for playing5.
◊ CIBC Pace It™ Installment Plans allow primary cardholders to convert posted eligible Card Transaction(s) to monthly installment payments (including interest) over a fixed period of time. When you create an Installment Plan you will have the ability to choose the payment term (in months) with a corresponding annual interest rate. A One Time Installment Fee of 1.50% of the purchase amount applies. Once you accept the Installment Plan Terms and Conditions and create the Installment Plan through CIBC Online or Mobile Banking, you can cancel it at any time but you cannot change it. CIBC Pace It™ Installment Plans are only available: (a) on Accounts in good standing; (b) for certain eligible Card types and eligible Transactions; and (c) to non-Quebec residents.
1. The minimum purchase amount of $100 is valid until June 30, 2020, after which the minimum purchase amount may be increased back to $250. The offer may be withdrawn or changed by CIBC at any time without any further notice.
2. The fee rebate offer is valid on all CIBC Pace It™ Installment Plans created during the offer period from April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020. The offer may be withdrawn or changed without notice at any time. CIBC may, in its sole discretion, revoke this offer if you are believed to be manipulating or abusing it, or engaging in any suspicious or fraudulent activity
The fee rebate offer is valid on all CIBC Pace It™ Installment Plans created during the offer period, provided that the Installment Plan(s) is/are active and the credit card account is open at the time of processing the rebate. If you qualify, the rebate(s) of the Installment set-up fee(s) will be credited to your credit card statement within 90 days of the installment plan being set up.
3. A transaction includes cheques, withdrawals, transfers, pre-authorized payments, bill payments (including CIBC Credit Cards and CIBC Personal Lines of Credit) and debit purchases. For CIBC eAdvantage Savings Accounts, a transaction does not include transfers to your other CIBC bank account(s) using the transfer function on CIBC Online Banking, CIBC Mobile Banking, CIBC Telephone Banking and at CIBC ATMs. For all accounts, transfers to CIBC-branded loans (excluding CIBC Personal Lines of Credit), mortgages and investments (registered and non-registered) are free. “CIBC-branded” means any brand that has CIBC in its name and is offered by CIBC or its Canadian affiliates (and does not include CIBC Bank USA). Other fees (in addition to any transaction fee) include: withdrawals from non-CIBC bank machines (rebated for CIBC Smart Plus Accounts except the 2.5% administration fee on the converted amount of foreign currency ATM withdrawals), wire payments, Interac e-Transfer transactions (the Interac e-Transfer fee is waived for CIBC Smart Accounts, CIBC Smart Plus Accounts and for clients who are enrolled in CIBC Advantage for Youth, CIBC Smart for Students, CIBC Smart for Seniors (on the CIBC Smart Account) and CIBC Advantage for Students (on the CIBC Everyday Chequing Account)) and transactions in foreign currency (including cheques written in currencies other than the account currency).
5. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open April 17th 2020 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) to May 15th 2020 at 11:59:59p.m. ET to legal residents of Canada who are sixteen (16) years of age or older and are current students of an accredited Canadian university, college or secondary school. One (1) $1,000 prize available. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Math skill test required. Full Contest Rules available here.
*Trademark of Visa Int, used under license.
® Registered trademarks of CIBC or its subsidiaries.
CIBC Mobile Banking is a registered trademark of CIBC or its subsidiaries.
CIBC Pace It is a trademark of CIBC or its subsidiaries.
The CIBC logo is a trademark of CIBC, used under license. Interac e-Transfer is a registered trademark of Interac Inc. used under license.
Play Just For Funds!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.