Some Fed Workers Now Applying For Help as Shutdown Drags On

WASHINGTON–The list of credit unions offering assistance to federal workers who are missing paychecks due to the partial government shutdown continues to expand, with some CUs now reporting they are receiving applications from affected members.

Govt Shutdown

As has reported, as many as 800,000 people may be affected by the shutdown, which has lasted longer than many had anticipated.

In Georgia, where there are an estimated 100,000 federal employees, the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates said eight credit unions have put together offers of assistance. The eight include:

  • Associated Credit Union, which is offering a Federal Furlough Relief Loan, featuring 0% interest for six months up to $750. Members with an existing loan can be granted a two-month deferment or a lower alternate payment while the shutdown is active.  After three days of offering the Federal Furlough Relief Loan, Associated said it received 45 applications and funded $16,500 worth of loans.  “This is a situation that is mostly out of our members’ control,” said Associated SVP-Lending Chad Evans. “Therefore, as a cooperative, it is important for us to assist those in a temporary hardship with the proper resources we have available. We feel that is the right thing to do and it is what our membership, as a whole, expects us to do.” 
  • Atlanta Postal Credit Union, which is encouraging members who have been impacted by the partial government shutdown to call the loan department to review their options. 
  • CDC Federal Credit Union, which several years ago developed a Lifeline Loan designed to help its largely federally-employed membership in the event of a government shutdown. Furloughed members will be pre-approved for a Lifeline Loan in the amount that matches their previous direct deposits. Members can also request more or less than that pre-approved amount, the credit union said. “We’ve always felt that it was important to provide this service,” said CDC FCU VP-Member Engagement Andy Anderson. “The disruption in members’ pay is beyond their control and we feel it’s our duty to help them. It emphasizes the value of being a member of our credit union.”  
  • Delta Community Credit Union, which serves many TSA employees and which assembled a centralized team to respond to inquiries from members who are affected by the government shutdown.  “We haven’t received a lot of requests yet, but we stand ready to assist with fee waivers, payment holidays on existing loans and/or expedited personal loans for bridge financing when needed,” said DCCU COO Matthew Shepherd. 
  • GeoVista Federal Credit Union, which serves both military and civilian personnel at Fort Stewart and Hunter Airfield as well as community members in Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties. To aid members affected by the shutdown, GeoVista is offering 0% interest on loans for the next 90 days. The credit union will also be offering 60-day loan skips or interest-only payments for 60 days on existing loans.  “We stand directly beside the Department of Defense employees,” said Barbara Martin, VP-operations for GeoVista FCU. “We service many of them and we need to be sure we can properly assist them in this time of need.” 
  • Glynn County Federal Employees Credit Union, which is allowing members to delay loan payments for a month if the government shutdown extends to Jan. 14. 
  • Kinetic Credit Union, which is offering to civilian members employed at Fort Benning during the government shutdown to furlough loans, amounting to up to two weeks of net pay, to members set up with direct deposit. These loans feature 0% APR for the first 60 days and will default to the same rate as shared secured loans, about 4.1%, after that 60-day period. Furloughed members who are not set up with direct deposit may apply for extensions on current loans or for new personal loans. They also have the option of penalty-free withdrawals on certificates.  “Credit unions are owned by the members they serve,” said Haley Hudson, marketing manager at Kinetic Credit Union. “Kinetic is ready to support our members when they need it most.” 
  • United 1st Federal Credit Union, which serves members who work for federal agencies, which is offering a 30-day extension on outstanding vehicle or signature loans to furloughed government employees. The normal fee to skip a monthly payment will be waived.
  • Golden 1 Credit Union has announced a new program designed to assist members who are experiencing a disruption in pay due to the federal government shutdown. Golden 1’s Pay Disruption Assistance Program is offering mortgage loan forbearances, consumer loan and credit card payment deferments and short-term low rate loans for eligible members. “Our members can rely on us to care for them during good times and bad,” said Donna Bland, president and CEO of Golden 1 Credit Union. “We are offering the Pay Disruption Assistance Program to help them stay financially secure during this difficult time.”
    Golden 1 said it has approximately 3,000 members who may be eligible for assistance.
  • Frontwave Credit Union continues to provide support for government employees affected by the shutdown. Frontwave is offering government shutdown loans and penalty free loan extensions or skip-a-payments. Frontwave said it remains committed to working with members to find solutions that will help them stay financially stable during challenging times.

Latest to Offer Assistance

In addition, in In Portsmouth, N.H., Service Credit Union has offered to post payroll credits to those members with direct deposit, stating once the government resumes posting payrolls, it will reverse this special one-time posting. For members who do not receive the automatic direct deposit posting, Service Credit Union is offering a no-interest, six-month loan up to $3,000 to those who qualify.

“As a credit union, we are dedicated to serving our members and helping them when they need us most,” said Fawn Terwilliger, chief lending officer at Service Credit Union. “We are pleased to offer our services at this uncertain time, so members know they have one less thing to worry about at the holidays.”

Also announcing help: Olympia, Wash.-based WSECU, noting there are approximately  54,000 federal executive branch employees in the state, said it is offering a number of programs, including:

  • Loan modification: In many instances, WSECU can work with members to adjust the terms of a WSECU loan.
  • Q-Cash: A short-term emergency loan of up to $700 with a better rate, longer term and lower fees than storefront payday lenders.
  • Q-Cash Plus: A longer term (up to 36 months) for up to $4,000 with approval based on the borrower’s relationship with WSECU.
  • Referrals to free financial counseling and budgeting assistance.
  • Work stoppage loan: Special loans for gaps in employment.
  • Loan consolidation: Consolidate debt for easier bill management.

In Arizona, where roughly 55,600 Arizonans work for the federal government Credit Union West in Glendale is allowing affected members with mortgages at the credit union to skip a payment at no cost. It's also offering personal loans of up to $6,000 that feature interest rates of 0% and no initial payment for 60 days.

In another Glendale, California Credit Union  is offering a number of relief offers, including loan payment assistance, skip-a-pay, and fee waivers; penalty-free certificate withdrawals; and a signature loan priced four percentage points lower than the CU’s lowest-priced loan under which members may receive up to two times their most recent net paycheck, up to $3,000.  “In light of the current government shutdown, we want our members to know that we’re here to help. California Credit Union members can rest assured we will provide them with a variety of special assistance programs to help alleviate some of the financial stress this situation may cause them,” said California Credit Union CEO Steve O’Connell. 

Others Offering Assistance

As reported earlier, other CUs offering assistance to federal workers include:

  • In Edwardsville, Ill., Scott Credit Union said it is offering a six-month, 0% APR Government Shutdown Loan to members who are government and civil service employees working without pay during the government shutdown. Members who receive the loan also will not have to make any payments for 30 days.
  • In Redding, Calif., Members 1st Credit Union is offering qualified members  a 0% Federal Employee Payroll Assistance Loan with funds of up to $3,000 and terms out to 12 months; assistance that includes modified payments and skip-a-payments on loans, and on cards, expedited review and approval for line increases or new credit lines for a Members 1st credit card

“Federal Government employees were some of the early founders of members 1st Credit Union and we’re dedicated to ensure their financial safety during this time of uncertainty,” said Members 1st President and CEO Teri Vanderpol.

  • In Jacksonville, Ark., Arkansas Federal Credit Union is offering members with checking accounts in good standing with a direct deposit from the U.S. federal government a short-term, interest-free loan. “We don’t want our members to worry about their financial well-being due to circumstances beyond their control,” said Rodney Showmar, president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Federal.
  • In Pleasanton, Calif., Patelco CU said it has activated its Government Shutdown Response Program to aid its 10,000 to 25,000 members potentially affected by the federal government shutdown. Patelco said its Government Shutdown Response Program provides immediate access to financial resources to any member in good standing that works as a federal employee. This program includes access to low interest loans, reversal of non-sufficient-funds (NSF) fees or late fees, and more.
  • AmeriCU Credit Union in Rome, N.Y., which is offering interest-free furlough loans, fee refunds, and penalty-free certificate withdrawals. "We want to help alleviate the financial stress that a shutdown like this could cause our members,” Ron Belle, chief experience officer for AmeriCU, told local media.  “We’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re here for our members with the right assistance and services when and where they need it.”
  • Mid Oregon Credit Union in Bend, Ore., which reported it has several hundred members who are employees of the Deschutes National Forest, Ochoco National Forest, the Fremont-Winema National Forest, BLM and US Fish and Wildlife Service. Mid Oregon is offering short-term loans, “skip-a-pays,” as well as a willingness to work with members on mortgage and auto loan payments.
  • Vermont State Employees Credit Union if offering a Member Emergency Loan (MEL), with a low rate on amounts  up to $1,500. “It’s a frightening prospect to suddenly lose income at any time of the year, but winter in Vermont is an especially difficult time to find yourself suddenly without funds,” Valerie Beaudin, head of Consumer Residential Lending, told local media.  Members may be eligible for the MEL if they have been in good standing with the credit union for at least six months and have proof of federal employment/furlough status. Loan applications can be completed online at or at any of VSECU’s nine branch locations.
  • In Michigan, Traverse Catholic Federal Credit Union has partnered with the local Bayside Market to help members of the Coast Guard and their families with free groceries. An account into which people can make donations to cover the costs of the groceries has been set up at the credit union.
  • Radcliff, Ky.-based Fort Knox FCU, which is offering affected members a personal loan with no payments due for the first 90 days, or the option to withdraw up to $10,000 of certificate deposits early without penalty by visiting their local branch. FKFCU is also offering the opportunity to extend the payment due date on their current loans by 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on need as determined by the credit union, or applying for a new low-rate VISA credit card or instant cash line of credit to ease financial stress during the shutdown.
  • Keesler FCU in Biloxi, FCU., which is offering a payday advance for members who have federal payroll direct deposit established with the credit union. 
  • In Maine, Northeast Credit Union has announced the availability of several special programs to assist federal workers, including deferments for up to three months on NECU consumer loans, a special low-rate on a 12-month Signature Loan with deferred payments, and continuation of direct deposit pay at the member’s request.
  • In Chantilly, Va., Justice Federal Credit Union is offering special assistance in the form of an unsecured, low interest rate loan and deferred payments to members of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security and other members furloughed as a result of a shutdown. Members with a minimum of six months of membership with Justice Federal may apply for a Special Assistance Loan up to member’s net pay, not to exceed $3,000 at an annual low rate of 2.94% for 24 months. The actual loan amount is based on the member’s net pay deposit, with direct deposit required. Members may opt to defer their first loan payment for up to 90 days. In addition, existing members in good standing with a Justice Federal consumer loan, or credit card may request to defer payments, and request assistance with a Justice Federal First Mortgage Loan.
  • In Massachusetts, Hanscom FCU, which serves Hanscom Air Force Base, said some of its members are eligible for a “LifeLine loan” during the time the government is shut down and paychecks are not being issued.  In addition, Hanscom FCU said it  will waive penalties for premature withdrawals on term share certificates and allow qualified members to skip consumer loan payments with no fee. Members whose paychecks are affected by a shutdown or a furlough are also able to apply for a 0% APR LifeLine loan with a 60-day term, up to 100% of one’s net monthly pay or $5,000, whichever is less. For those needing more than 60 days to repay, the loan will be converted into installment payments over a 12-month term at a low fixed rate of 8.49% APR.
  • The world’s largest credit union, Navy FCU, has announced a plan to cover direct deposit for eligible members during the government shutdown. Coverage for this loan begins if a shutdown extends into the next pay period and pay is interrupted. The credit union is offering assistance to Federal government employees and active duty members of the Coast Guard whose pay has been disrupted by the shutdown, and have an established direct deposit account. Navy Federal will also continue to accept registration for the program until three days after the scheduled pay day.
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Copyright Year: 2019
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