Credit unions across the nation have been rolling out support to members impacted by the government shutdown, which began on December 22nd.
According to CU Today, nearly 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed and are not receiving their paychecks, with nearly half required to work temporarily without pay. As a result, many are at risk of missing loan and mortgage payments and other bills.
“If they don’t get paid, then their loan does not get paid, which puts them past-due or delinquent status,” said Gloria Bowden, Executive Vice President at Democracy Federal Credit Union.
Thankfully, credit unions have stepped up to offer financial support to members impacted by the government shutdown in the form of special loan programs, waived banking fees and financial guidance.
It is a testament to the credit union mission of “people helping people” and the ability of credit unions to quickly mobilize and support their members during a crisis.
With no visible end to the government shutdown in sight, here are four stories of how credit unions are supporting their members:
Credit Unions Help Members Survive the Government Shutdown
When news of the government shutdown surfaced, FedChoice Federal Credit Union was well-prepared. FedChoice launched its Furlough Center, a dedicated resource center with information on special offers for furloughed workers, branch access information and even a forum to share stories from those impacted by the shutdown. FedChoice is also waiving early withdrawal fees and offering special loans for federal employees.
As Many as 800,000 Federal Workers May be Affected by Shutdown
Ray Springsteen, CEO of Fort Knox Federal Credit Union, remembered the impact of the 2013 government shutdown on FKFCU’s members well. As a result, FKFCU allowed impacted members to defer payments on loans by up to 90 days, in addition to providing options for cash or credit lines to ease financial burdens. “Supporting members and the broader community during the partial government shutdown is part of our ‘people helping people’ philosophy,” Springsteen said.
Patelco Activates Special Financial Benefits for Members Affected by Federal Government Shutdown
With potentially thousands of members impacted by the government shutdown, Patelco Credit Union quickly responded by launching its Government Shutdown Response Program. The program includes low interest loans, waived fees and personal bridge loans for members in need. “We will do everything in our power to help members ease their personal financial worry during this challenging time,” Erin Mendez, Patelco CEO said.
42,000 Coast Guard Members are the Only Military Branch to Work Without Pay During Shutdown
As if having the difficult task of protecting our nation’s waters wasn’t enough, all 42,000 active-duty members of the U.S. Coast Guard were faced with threat of having to work without pay during the government shutdown. Luckily credit unions like Navy Federal Credit Union stepped in to offer zero interest loans to military service members.
Providing assistance and personalized service during times of need is what credit unions do best and why members continue to work with us.
As the government shutdown continues, CO-OP is here to support our credit unions and their members with access to funds through our 5,700 shared branch locations, nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs, and 24/7 support offered through our Contact Centers. Contact us to learn more.