March 04, 2013

NAFCU members offer to help those furloughed

2013 money need help

March 5, 2013 – NAFCU member credit unions said they are standing by with zero-percent loans, penalty waivers and more in response to the association's request for information on what the institutions are doing to help members through the sequester in effect this fiscal year.

  • Service CU of Portsmouth, N.H., said it is offering a 0 percent annual percentage rate "sequestration loan" of up to $6,000 and a repayment period of 18 months. Members that have direct deposit need make no payments for the first 90 days.
  • JetStream FCU of Miami Lakes, Fla., is looking ahead to the expiration of the current stopgap funding bill. It's offering 0 percent relief loans to members who work for the federal government and are furloughed in the event of a federal government shutdown. Repayment is in 60 days and converts to a 12-month, 8.99 percent signature loan after that.
  • NSWC FCU of Dahlgren, Va., is allowing members affected by furlough to make penalty-free withdrawals from share certificates, to make reduced payments on consumer loans and interest-only payments for six months. Some members may be able to skip a monthly payment as well.

The president signed the sequester order on Friday, setting the stage for tens of billions of dollars in spending cuts in fiscal 2013. The Justice Department and National Labor Relations Board issued notices of possible furloughs in advance of Friday's order.

Federal employees will know if they are to be furloughed if they receive letters of furlough from their agencies; those letters must be sent at least 30 days in advance of the furlough. That aside, the sequester is expected to affect federal contractors, defense programs and any market affected by reduced buying power of individuals taking cuts in hours worked.