Credit Unions Provide Help to Workers Affected by the Shutdown

(Pictured) A protester holds up a sign calling for an end to the U.S. government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 10. Reuters

(Pictured) A protester holds up a sign calling for an end to the U.S. government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 10. Reuters

As the government shutdown lingers and Congress continues to disagree on measures to fund many federal agencies, 800,000 federal workers may be facing life without pay. But credit unions have been stepping up to help federal workers without paychecks.

From low interest rate loans, credit card limit increases to continuing automatic deposit of paychecks; credit unions are picking up the slack where government is failing workers.

Contact your credit union to see if there are special programs due to the government shutdown but here is a sample of what some credit unions are offering:

Service Credit Union, Portsmouth, NH. Department of Defense civilian employee members affected by the shutdown will receive full or partial pay credited to their accounts. This credit covers biweekly payrolls on October 11th for members with an existing Service Credit Union direct deposit who are paid by DFAS CIVFED SAL or DFAS FED SALARY,” said a Service CU press release on Thursday. “This one-time service is cost free and will be debited from accounts with the next payroll.”

Members with direct deposit are eligible for a special 4.9% APR shutdown loan up to $1,000. Non-members can also join the Service CU to take advantage of the same offer.

Pacific Marine Credit Union, Oceanside, CA. Will post payrolls for all affected members with direct deposit Oct. 15. The payments will come out of the credit union’s cash reserves according to Brad Smith, the vice president of strategic development. Pacific Marine will consider making another payment two weeks later if the shutdown continues.

Justice Federal Credit Union, Chantilly, VA. Members affected by the shutdown may apply for a special unsecured loan up to $10,000 at an annual percentage rate of 0% for the first 60 days. After the 60 days, rate converts to 4.90% for a term of 24-months. According to a press release from the Justice FCU, the loan amount will be based on a member’s net pay deposit.

Navy Federal Credit Union, Merrifield, VA. Navy FCU is the nation’s largest credit union in the U.S. with branches throughout the country. They have designed several programs for members affected by the shutdown including personal loans, lines of credit, raising credit card limits and allowing members to withdraw from certificates of deposit without penalties.

NASA Federal Credit Union, Washington DC. Members can get a special Line of Credit. NASA FCU is offering a 3% (APR) on a line of credit up to $20,000 for members with checking accounts and direct deposit who are federal government employees and contractors and are subject to furloughs. This introductory rate will be in effect beginning October 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013. The post-promotional rate (APR) is variable and based on creditworthiness (ranging from 8.25% – 17.99%).

National Institutes of Health FCU, Rockville, MD. Members can qualify for the Special Assistance for Federal Employees (S.A.F.E.) Loan up to $10,000. The S.A.F.E. Line of Credit offers a 0% intro APR for the first 60 days, then 1.99% to 4.99% APR for the next 12 months. An NIHFCU checking account is required for the loan.

Members of credit unions affected by the shutdown can go to National Association of Federal Credit Unions for a listing credit unions offering assistance.

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