Credit unions whose membership includes significant numbers of Federal Aviation Administration employees mobilized lower cost loans, fee reductions and other measures for them recently as an ongoing legislative dispute left the workers without paychecks.
Legislation financing the agency and many of its construction projects around the nation remained blocked as lawmakers failed to resolve labor and fiscal disputes in the bill before they left Washington for the balance of summer.
A few legislators who had not yet left the capital passed a stop gap measure that President Obama signed. But that measure expires on Sept. 16 and thus did not represent a lasting resolution of the impasse.
CUs with FAA employee members swung into action quickly, offering loans and other measures to those members who lost pay because of the dispute.
The 47,000-member FAA Credit Union in Oklahoma City offered its members affected by the funding cut 60-day interest free loans for 100% of their last paycheck before the agency shut down, up to $6,000.
The $502 million CU also refunded up to $100 in overdraft fees to members as well as allowed those members affected to skip up to two payments on installment loans during the first 60 days of the furlough. The CU also waived the fee normally charged for skipping a payment.
The 28,000-member SkyOne FCU in Hawthorne, Calif., offered its members signature loans of up to $5000 with a 48-month term, zero interest for the first 60 days and no payments for first 90 days. The $340 million CU also reversed several fees for members impacted by the furlough.
Although the credit unions indicated that some of their membership had grown more used to periodic pay and work interruptions due to fiscal and other legislative disputes, this felt a bit different–perhaps because it was less expected.
Allison Wolf, vice president of marketing for FAA Credit Union, reported that even though the CU had offered these sorts of measures in the past, this was the first time the CU had experienced members seeking out staff to ask about them.
“That felt new for us,” she remarked.
Wolf said the CU served primarily the FAA training facility in Oklahoma City where the agency trains its air traffic controllers and other staff. The CU was not sure how many of its members might have been affected by the furlough since FAA employees no longer made up the majority of the CUs members.