While the government shutdown continues, many federal employees are turning to their credit unions for assistance.
The shutdown resulted in 353 loan applications for furloughed federal employees at the $599 million Justice FCU in Chantilly, Va., totaling $1,834,046.
Justice FCU said it was offering its members “special unsecured loans up to $10,000 at an annual rate of 0% for the first 60 days. The rate converts to 4.90% after that time for a term of 24-months.
“The loan amount will be based on the member’s net pay deposit, with direct deposit required. In addition, members may defer their first loan payment for up to 60 days,” according to a Justice FCU press release.
Between Tuesday and Thursday, the credit union received 376 calls concerning furlough loans and 184 deferral requests, a Justice FCU spokesperson told Credit Union Times on Friday.
Justice FCU said it processed 41 new memberships online and eight new memberships over the phone during the same period.
The furlough loan applications for new members totaled $156,500 while the loans for existing members totaled $1,677,546, the 56,400-member credit union said.
“We have had branches closed due to their location within government-secured buildings but have alternative means of assisting members in need-call center, online loan applications, shared branch locations and over 138,000 surcharge-free ATMs,” the spokesperson told Credit Union Times.
The $2.3 billion Service Credit Union in Portsmouth, N.H., is automatically depositing “the amount of military or DoD civilian government service (GS) pay into the member’s account, based on their last received direct deposit to the credit union,” under its government shutdown program.
“Those military and DoD civilian employees who are affected by the government shutdown, and are not members of Service Credit Union can open up an account with direct deposit of their net pay and qualify for future government shutdowns,” said a Service Credit Union press release.
“Our 24/7 Live Person Contact Center has seen a dramatic increase in call volume from the shutdown since October 1,” said Lori Holmes, assistant vice president of marketing at the Service CU.
The number of DoD Government civilian employee members at Service CU is estimated at around 10,000. Service receives direct deposits from about 3,500 and the remaining members who do not provide a direct deposit are being offered a $1,000, 4.9% APR loan, Holmes added.
“We wish to minimize and ensure that our military and DoD civilian members do not encounter any financial hardship, inconvenience and/or financial harm due to the government shutdown,” said Gordon Simmons, president/CEO of Service CU.