Credit unions across the country have a long history of putting together programs to help members who go without pay during federal government shutdowns. A partial closure appears possible with congressional Democrats and the White House at an impasse over funding a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. If Congress fails to pass a short-term spending bill that President Trump is willing to sign, then part of the government will shut down Friday at midnight.
Here is a look at what some credit unions are planning to do if that happens and what others were offering during the short-lived shutdown in January.
Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Hanscom Federal Credit Union in Massachusetts will offer a LifeLine loan to members who are federal employees and affected by a shutdown. The $1.3 billion-asset institution will also waive penalties for early withdrawals on term share certificates, and some members will be able to skip loan payments at no charge.
“Although this shutdown is limited in scope, some essential federal employees may have to go without pay until an agreement can be reached in Congress,” Paul Marotta, Hanscom’s chairman, said in a press release. “We supported our members throughout furloughs in the past and, once again, we’re here to provide access to funds so our members’ living expenses can be covered, whether they’re essential or non-essential government personnel impacted by this event. We want them to know we’re here for them.”
The institution is headquartered at Hanscom Air Force Base and mainly serves current and retired employees of the federal government in Massachusetts.
Justice Federal Credit Union
Justice Federal Credit Union in Chantilly, Va., will offer members unsecured, low-interest-rate loans and the chance to defer payments on loans. The $798 million-asset institution serves employees and retirees of the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. courts.
“Justice Federal is focused on being the unwavering partner to the justice and law enforcement community,” Mark Robnett, president and CEO, said in a press release. “We were founded in the halls of justice in 1935 to help members in need during the Great Depression and nearly 85 years later, we continue to uphold our founders’ legacy by helping our members continue to thrive.”
Service Credit Union and Northeast Credit Union
During the brief shutdown in January, Service Credit Union and Northeast Credit Union, both headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., were ready to help affected members.
Service Credit Union was willing to provide members direct deposit credit. Those without direct deposit were eligible for zero-interest loans. The $3.4 billion-asset credit union’s offer was available to all members of the military, government service civilians and Social Security recipients.
The $1.4 billion-asset Northeast was offering deferments for up to three months on consumer loan payments in addition to a special low rate on a 12-month loan.
America First Credit Union
The $10.2 billion-asset America First Credit Union of Riverdale, Utah, promoted financial counseling services at no cost to members during the shutdown in January. It also had a special furlough assistance loan for affected federal workers.
Launch Federal Credit Union
In January, Launch Federal Credit Union in Merrit Island, Fla., was willing to provide members affected by the government shutdown a zero-interest loan based on their loss of pay.
“In 2013, we faced a government shutdown, and now we are looking at the possibility of another federal government shutdown,” Joe Mirachi, president and CEO of Launch, said in a press release at the time. “Again, we are ready to assist our members who are federal government civilian workers who may lose pay in the coming weeks due to a government shutdown.”
The $776 million-asset Launch started at Kennedy Space Center and has 13 branch locations throughout Florida’s Brevard and Volusia counties, including two at the Space Center and one on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
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