Shutdown enters week 2; CUs aid members
Oct. 8, 2013 – Hundreds of thousands of workers – many of them credit union members – entered their second week of furlough from their federal posts Monday, which brought no signs of compromise or resolution from Congress on an end to the federal government shutdown.
Many federal workers were called back to work this week under the Pay Our Military Act, but many non-defense workers still remain furloughed. Moreover, many of those who did go back to work may still require some form of assistance as a number of federal assistance programs, including tuition assistance programs for servicemembers, are offline due to the shutdown.
Credit unions planned for this situation well in advance, and they’re working to meet the needs of members facing financial difficulty.
America’s CU, a federal credit union based in the state of Washington, is offering affected members various loan workout and skip-a-payment options, among other products and services. Heidi West, ACU’s vice president of marketing and business development, said that as of Monday, the credit union had funded 16 loans for members affected by sequestration and the shutdown. She said the credit union had processed 35 skip-a-payments for members affected by the shutdown and waived associated fees.
Furloughed workers would get back pay under H.R. 3223, which passed the House on Saturday and awaits Senate action. Expectations are that it will clear the Senate and be enacted, but it can't be carried out until the shutdown ends.
Reports are now saying the shutdown could continue until the federal debt ceiling deadline of Oct. 17, and failure to raise the debt ceiling by this date risks a default. The Washington Post reported Monday that President Obama might be open to a short-term increase in the debt ceiling to prevent that.
CUs offering assistance through shutdown
The Washington Post article (10-7-13)