CUs Offer Aid to Members Affected by Federal Government Shutdown

Federal Government Shutdown

With the federal government shutdown entering its fourth week, credit unions in California and Nevada have stepped up to aid affected members.

The partial federal government shutdown began Dec. 21. It is impacting nearly 800,000 government employees—about 420,000 who are currently working without pay and 380,000 who are furloughed and not working at all.

According to data from the U.S. Labor Department compiled by Governing.com, 41,478 federal employees living in California and 3,097 in Nevada work in agencies that have not been funded.

Below is a just a sampling of credit unions offering programs to lessen the financial impact to members affected by the shutdown. Contact your credit union if it's not listed on the list to see if it has an assistance program. 

Alliance CU: The credit union is assisting members during the government shutdown through a variety of programs, including 0-percent emergency loans and payment deferral and skip payment programs with no fees, as well as loan modifications or extensions as needed.

Altura CU: The credit union has an emergency loan program to provide financial assistance due to delayed payroll caused by a state or federal government shutdown. It has 0 percent interest during the shutdown and for 90 days after it ends. The credit union will advance funds for each payday that payroll is delayed (up to a maximum of three months’ net compensation). There is no pre-payment penalty and no payments are due while shutdown is still in effect. So far, some members have been helped via this loan program, according to SVP, Chief Culture Officer Chris Andrus. In addition, the credit union offers a skip-a-pay program.

American Airlines FCU: The credit union is currently offering financial solutions focused on helping people affected. New and existing members are eligible for a short-term Government Shutdown loan. This loan is designed to help affected government employees within our field of membership to bridge the gap between paychecks. For members with existing AAFCU loans, the credit union will work with them to help with payment deferrals and fee refunds during this period.  Financial Wellness Services are also provided to all members at no cost.

Arrowhead CU: The credit union is offering assistance to members who receive direct deposit from a department or agency affected by the federal government shutdown. Among the options available are: zero interest loans, loan payment deferrals, fee reversals, and financial counseling.

Bay FCU: Members who are affected by the federal government shutdown can apply for a special emergency loan with no minimum credit score or income documentation needed. The credit union is also offering assistance to members who receive direct deposit from a department or agency affected by the shutdown. Other programs or options for affected members include the ability to skip a monthly auto loan payment with no processing fee required, programs to assist members concerned about making their monthly mortgage payment, and free financial education and counseling services.

Boulder Dam CU, NV: “We are ready and willing to help. As in the past we take everyone on a case by case basis depending on what loans they carry with the credit union," said CEO Eric Estes.  "Typical assistance involves loan extensions to assist with deferral of payments, and education on how best to handle any accrued interest once the shutdown ends and back pay is recouped.”

Cabrillo CU:  As a credit union that has served federal employees for more than 62 years, it has resources to help members get through this shutdown, according to Jonathan Zide. It’s Payroll Assurance Loan (PAL) program was created to help certain federal employees who temporarily don’t receive their payroll deposit, due to a natural disaster or government shutdown. Members who have signed up for PAL receive an available 0 percent APR* line of credit on their regular payday, even when the government doesn’t issue their payroll.  PAL was designed to be repaid automatically when payroll does come in. For those facing a furlough, the credit union is offering a Furlough Loan, for up to 24 months at a 0 percent introductory rate for the first 2 months, then 5 percent APR* for the remainder of the term for members with direct deposit. Members without direct deposit will receive a rate of 9 percent APR with no 0 percent introductory rate. 

California CU: The credit union is offering programs to help affected members, including loan payment assistance (skip a payment, with all fees waived, on their consumer loan accounts), penalty-free certificate withdrawals, and reduced rate signature loans. “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 CEO Steve O'Connell. "We hope these programs will support our members in what may be a difficult time and invite any member who may be impacted to contact us with questions or concerns about their finances."

California Coast CU: The credit union is offering members the option of a 0-percent APR 90-day personal loans for the amount of the member's last net payroll up $5,000 or a 90-day loan payment deferral on existing loans.

Cal Poly FCU:  It is offering a 0-percent loan for 60 days (and will likely extend if the shutdown extends) and skipping loan payment for members affected. 

Chabot FCU: While the credit union has not received any requests yet, according to CEO Christine L. Petro, it will allow members to make interest-only loan payments, apply for extensions, and surrender portions of certificates without penalty to meet living expenses. 

Clark County CU, NV: "We are offering to those effected to change a due date or skip a monthly payment with no fees no hassle," said CEO Matt Kershaw. "No need to worry about damaged credit scores or banking relationship. We are your extended family and we will be here every day to help you through this difficult time. Call (702)228-2228 option 1 for your friendly credit union representative."

CoastHills CU:  The credit union is offering assistance programs, including the opportunity to skip any existing, non-mortgage consumer loan payment for up to two months. Additionally, members can apply for an interest free line of credit that is a portion of their monthly income. It also offers the option of refinancing an existing, non-mortgage loan held at another financial entity, with a grace period before the first loan payment is due on the refinanced loan with the credit union. CoastHills wanted to play a lead role in providing temporary support for their members in need. “Our programs can provide critical, immediate support at a time when our member-owners trust us to step in and help,” said Paul Cook, CoastHills President/CEO.  “This is what credit unions do.”

Compass Community CU: The credit union is offering two programs to assist current members affected by the government shutdown. A skip-a-payment option is available with no fees on consumer loans. The second option is a 0 percent interest, short-term loan.  Certain restrictions and requirements apply so members are encouraged to contact the credit union for additional details. “Our hearts go out to our members affected by the government shutdown,” said Compass Community Credit Union CEO Ray Litchfield. “We want to be there for our members by offering a couple options to help during this difficult time.” 

Credit Union of Southern California: The credit union is reaching out to affected members with a variety of assistance programs, including a 90-day deferral on any new or existing consumer loan and waiving the early withdrawal penalty for members who need to withdrawal money out of an existing certificate, according to Chief Communications and Experience Officer Michelle Hunter. 

Educational Employees CU: The credit union has been granting skip payments to federal workers impacted by the government shutdown, as well granting zero percent loans to those affected members who have direct deposit. Once the government re-opens, if those individuals with the zero percent loans are not able to re-pay the loan at that time, the credit union will convert the loan into a 12-18 month loan for 6 - 6.5 percent interest rate. It is also waiving a number of fees for these individuals, such as courtesy pay fees. In addition, EECU is running a campaign to allow members to transfer credit card balances from other cards to the credit union with a rate on that balance as low as 5.99 percent, according to CEO Elizabeth Dooley.

Edwards FCU: The credit union is offering up to a $5,000 loan for a one-year term at 2 percent APR for affected members as well as a skip-a-loan payment program (with no fees) and other assistance as needed.

Financial Horizons CU, NV: The credit union is offering assistance to those experiencing hardship resulting from the federal government shutdown. 

Financial Partners CU: For those impacted, the credit union’s Member Assistance Team is available to assist. Among the programs are payment deferment (up to two payments on existing consumer loans); a 0-percent emergency assistance loan with a 12-month term of up to $5,000 (or 30 days of pay);  and emergency penalty-free withdrawals from certificates.  

First Imperial CU: The credit union is offering to assist affected members, including loan payment deferment for up two months and a member assistance loan of 0 percent interest and up to $3,000.

First U.S. Community CU: The credit union is offering its 0-percent payroll loans for terms to 15 months, part of its Government Employee Assistance Program to aid community government employees who may be furloughed as the shutdown continues.  “First U.S. has helped Northern California government employees stay whole during furloughs through our Government Employee Assistance Program. While we expect that Congress will find a solution and reopen unfunded portions of government, we feel it’s important to keep offering these loans to government employees,” said CEO Carol M. Hauck. The credit union was founded as the federal employee credit union in Sacramento (all federal employees other than postal).

Frontwave CU: According to EVP/Chief Strategy Officer Bradley Smith, the effect of this latest shutdown has been fairly isolated so far, but the credit union does have a 0 percent APR payroll assistance loan program for members that have direct deposit with Frontwave.  It also offers a free skip-a-pay and loan extensions if the member needs to push out a loan payment.  So far, it has done three skip-a-payments and one 0-percent payroll loan. “But we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure this shutdown does not have a lasting negative effect on our members’ financial lives,” Smith said.

Golden 1 CU:  Members who work for federal agencies affected by the current partial shutdown can apply for the credit union’s new Pay Disruption Assistance Program. The credit union is offering mortgage loan forbearances, consumer loan and credit card payment deferments, and short-term low rate loans for eligible members.  “We know how challenging a short-term loss of income can be for families,” said CEO Donna Bland. “Our members can rely on us to care for them during good times and bad. We are offering the Pay Disruption Assistance Program to help them stay financially secure during this difficult time.”  Approximately 3,000 Golden 1 members may be eligible for the Pay Disruption Assistance Program. Mortgage loan forbearances and payment deferments on consumer loans and credit cards are available for up to 90 days or the length of the pay disruption, whichever is shorter. Interest will continue to accrue during forbearance and deferment periods. Short-term low rate loans of up to $5,000.00 are available.

Great Basin FCU, NV: The credit union is offering affected members the opportunity to skip loan payments per its everyday skip program. It also will lend up to one month’s salary, maximum of $3,000, amortized over 12 months with no payments for 60 days.  If the member pays off within 60 days, the credit union will refund the interest, according to CEO Jennifer Denoo.

Kinecta FCU: The credit union is offering a variety of loan programs to help those affected, including a 0-percent interest loan of up to $2,000 for up to 12 months and loan payment deferrals of up to two months.

LBS Financial CU: The credit union is assisting members affected by the government shutdown with two programs: a loan payment deferral option with no processing fee and a 0-percent  direct deposit loan for up to $5,000 not to exceed 90 percent of their most recent direct deposit.

Members 1st CU: The credit union will offer federal government employees financial assistance to those enduring a financial hardship due to the government shutdown, including 0-percent Interest loans (the Federal Employee Payroll Assistance Loan provides up to $3,000 over a term of 12 months), existing loan assistance, and credit card assistance (expedited review and approval for line increases or new credit lines). “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 CEO Teri Vanderpol. 

Meriwest CU: The credit union has a number of programs, including skip-a-pay; allowance of early withdrawal from term products such as CDs; emergency loans of up to $5,000 with a 5-percent fixed interest rate and up to a 36-month term; and a forbearance plan for members with a first mortgage with Meriwest.

Mission FCU: The credit union is offering skip-a-pay program as well as financial assistance loans of up to $5,000 for terms up to 24 months.

Pacific Postal CU: The credit union is offering financial assistance to members affected by the government shutdown with several options including emergency loans, deferred loan payments and skip-a-pay. Members may call 800.696.6009 to learn more.

Patelco CU:  It has activated its Government Shutdown Response Program to aid its 10,000 to 25,000 members potentially affected by the federal government shutdown.  The program includes access to low interest loans, reversal of non-sufficient-funds (NSF) fees or late fees, and more. “With potentially thousands of Patelco members impacted by the partial federal government shutdown, Patelco remains dedicated to helping these members achieve and maintain financial health and wellbeing,” said CEO Erin Mendez. “That’s why we are introducing special benefits including deferred loan payments, waived fees and low-interest personal loans as a financial bridge for members experiencing financial disruption." Details of the the program include: waiver of early withdrawal fees on any share certificates; reversal of NSF fees or other late fees; no-interest loan up to $1,000, with a one-year term; low-interest loans at 3.99 percent APR for loans up to $10,000, with a five-year term; and payment deferrals on most existing loans through February 28, 2019, for affected members.

Point Loma CU: “We are prepared to address affected members' needs on a case-by-case basis in an effort to tailor a remedy and alleviate the impact of the shutdown. Potential remedies include, but may not necessarily be limited to, providing loan payment deferments and/or granting short term loans,” said Peter Butler, chief operating officer. “We strongly believe in improving the lives of our members by helping them achieve their financial goals, and our assistance during a shutdown can further reflect that commitment. So far we have had a few members reach out to us and are in the process of assisting them in different ways.”

Premier America CU: On a case-by-case basis, the credit union is offering assistance to those members affected by the government shutdown.

Provident CU: The credit union has a government shutdown loan and loan payment deferral programs to help those affected. The loan program is a 4-percent APR loan for up to 24 months with the first payment deferred up to 90 days. The loan payment deferral is avaiable for mortgage loans, HELOCs, and auto loans. 

Redwood CU: The credit union is working one-on-one with those impacted to best serve their individual needs; some of the available assistance options include direct deposit coverage,  0-percent loans for 60 days, or up to 12 months, deferred payments on RCU loans and credit cards, early withdrawal of funds from RCU certificates without penalties, and money management and budgeting information and tools. While the credit union has received a handful of calls, most are just seeking information at this point. No members have taken advantage of their programs yet, but Redwood anticipates more may do so as the 1/11 payday approaches. “If we are able to help even one member through this difficult time, we are serving our mission,” said CEO Brett Martinez. “We’ve been receiving positive comments from members in the branches, our phone center and through social media: even those who aren’t affected are expressing their gratitude and pride that their credit union is proactively taking measures to help those who are financially impacted by the government shutdown."

SafeAmerica CU:  “For our members who are negatively affected by the government shutdown, SafeAmerica Credit Union is providing financial assistance such as skip-a-payments, financial counseling and more to help maintain their good credit and alleviate the stress of this financial hardship.  “We want to be able to help our members during this difficult time," said CEO Tom Graves.  "We are prepared to work with them on a case-by-case basis to come up with a financial plan that works for them."

SAFE CU: The credit union is assisting furloughed federal employees and those working without pay. 

Sandia Laboratory FCU: The credit union is offering the following options for those affected: penalties waived for early certificate withdrawals, Skip-a-Pay program with fees waived,  "relief" loans for up to one month's net pay, and loan extensions. 

San Diego County CU:  Federal employees who are members may be eligible for assistance. Impacted customers may be able to take advantage of a 0-percent APR personal loan of up to $5,000 or a 90-day loan deferral.

San Mateo CU: The credit union has two loan options for members who are impacted by the shutdown. Members that utilize direct payroll deposit have access to a 0-percent APR 12-month loan with a maximum amount based on their monthly direct deposit amount. Without direct deposit history, the 12-month loan carries a reduced rate (4-percent APR lower by tier than standard personal loan rates) and the maximum loan amount is one month of gross salary. 

Silver State Schools CU, NV:  The credit union is offering special assistance to members who are affected, including deferments. It will expedite those requests due to the circumstances. 

SkyOne FCU: The credit union has its Crisis Copilot program now in place to help those affected by the shutdown. "We’ve had the program since 2008, when the airline industry was experiencing mass layoffs. It’s provides financial relief to member in the event of employer-related financial hardships such as mass layoffs, furloughs, and shutdowns. Our members can also take advantage of the program in the event they are affected by natural disasters such as the recent wild fires that struck California," said Chief Marketing Officer Cassie York.  Among the items of the program are relief loans with a 0-percent APR rate for the first 90 days for up to $5,000. In addition, the credit union also provides a 90-day payment extension on existing loans and penalty-free early withdrawals from certificates.

South Bay CU: The credit union has a number of options available to members, including a 90-day payment deferral, a 0-percent emergency relief loan for up to 90 days, and fee-free early withdrawal from certificates.

Southland CU: The credit union is offering two-month payment deferrals and lines of credit in amounts up to one month salary at zero percent interest for 60 days.

Travis CU: The credit union has a plan in place to help its members who are facing lost pay due to the government shutdown. It will consider lowering loan payments and extending the terms of loans as well as payroll advances for members who are impacted by the furloughs and work as military and civilian personnel should the government shutdown extend into February.   Additionally, TCU will offer a federal budget impasse signature loan with no interest for 90 days.  “We are here for our members and are doing everything we can to support them during these challenging economic times,” said CEO Barry Nelson. “Members are encouraged to visit any of our branches so that we can work with them to address any financial challenges that the government shutdown and loss of income may create.”

UNCLE CU:  The credit union's government relief program is designed to help members who work for the federal government and are affected by the partial federal government shutdown.  The loan will remain in effect throughout the shutdown time period. The program allows members to receive a loan of up to $10,000 (minimum $1,500) for a term of 30 months and 0-percent interest rate for the first six months. 

USE CU: The credit union has special personal loans to help members in the short term (including borrowing up to 100 percent of the net paycheck, up to $5,000 for up to six months with a 3.99-percent interest). Plus, the credit union staff is available to provide helpful information if a longer-term solution is needed.

Ventura County CU: For members who also are federal employees affected by the shutdown, the credit union is providing discounted rates, skip-a-payments, financial counseling. and more “to ensure our members survive any furloughs with their finances intact,” said Assistant Vice President of Marketing Tina Estes. Members can borrow up to $5,000 for a rate as low as 6.95 percent and 0 interest for the first 30 days with a repayment term of up to 24 months. 

WestStar CU, NV:  "With our field of membership, we don’t have many members who are impacted by the shutdown. However, I have told my team that if we do have any members reach out to us with any issues due to the shutdown that we are to do everything we can to help – waive fees, offer loan extension/forbearance, etc. I have committed that we will not leave any member in a difficult position and will do all we can to support them," CEO Rick Schmidt

UPDATED: January 31, 2019

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