Aiding recovery from financial setbacks.
By Citi April 27, 2010 02:27 PM
The U.S. unemployment rate is hovering around 10 percent, and more than 6.5 million people nationwide have been out of work longer than six months. These aren't abstractions, but hard facts to live with every day.
We're committed to doing what we can to help our customers feeling the strain of unemployment or other types of financial setbacks with short- and long-term relief. As we have detailed before on this blog, Citi has a range of innovative programs to help our customers deal with what is often the most serious challenge -- mortgage debt. But our hardship assistance also extends to Citi borrowers who are having difficulty managing other types of debt, such as that from credit cards, auto loans and personal loans.
For example, Citi is working with more than 1.7 million credit card account holders in managing their obligations through both short- and long-term assistance programs. In 2009, we provided auto loan customers with deferrals or short-term payment relief on loans with underlying principal balances totaling $7 billion. We also modified personal loan accounts for 187,000 CitiFinancial customers with underlying loan balances totaling more than $1.54 billion, as well as those of 14,500 Citi Retail Banking customers holding loans totaling more than $97 million.
This year, as our CEO Vikram Pandit said at the annual stockholder's meeting on April 20, we will continue our outreach to more people facing unemployment and other hardship. Through our major commitment to consumer financial education, we are also helping in other ways. In the last six years, we have contributed $167 million to community-based partners who offer a range of programs, including high-quality, free financial counseling and planning services, for those facing economic hardship. These initiatives may be the broadest and deepest in our industry, and we see firsthand how these services put more people on a path to recovery.