Since March, when the U.S. government’s across-the-board budget cuts began taking effect, credit unions in communities filled with federal employees have stepped up to help members cope with the consequences of sequestration, especially income loss.

Department of Defense downsizing and other federal payroll cuts are creating financial hardship for many credit union members, especially military families, according to a recent survey by First Command Financial Services Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas.

“The uncertainty surrounding sequestration and military retirement benefits is fueling concerns in many military families,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services.

Credit unions are well positioned to help minimize the impact of sequestration, industry leaders agreed.

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