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Service during the shutdown
Credit unions across the country -- many with a history of serving government employees -- have put together programs to assist members impacted by a government shutdown. What follows are a look at some of those offerings.
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Launch Federal Credit Union
Launch Federal Credit Union, based in Merrit Island, Fla., is offering members affected by a government shutdown a zero percent loan based on their loss of pay.

Interest-free loans will be available for up to 12 months for the amount of one biweekly or two weekly net paychecks, up to $3,000. A loan specialist at any Launch FCU branch can assist members with the loan application process.

The credit union requires proof of a government job for members to apply for the special loan. Affected members will need to provide a copy of a recent paystub.

“In 2013, we faced a government shutdown, and now we are looking at the possibility of another federal government shutdown,” Joe Mirachi, President and CEO of Launch FCU, said in a press release. “Again, we are ready to assist our members who are federal government civilian workers who may lose pay in the coming weeks due to a government shutdown.”

Launch FCU started at Kennedy Space Center and today has 13 branch locations throughout Florida’s Brevard and Volusia counties, including two on Kennedy Space Center (pictured above) and one on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
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Northeast Credit Union
The $1.2 billion Northeast Credit Union of Portsmouth, N.H. will offer a variety of programs for the duration of the anticipated government shutdown, including deferments for up to three months on NECU consumer loans, a special low rate on a 12-month signature loan with deferred payments and continuation of direct deposit pay at the member’s request.

NECU President and CEO Timothy J. Collia said in a statement: “The government shutdown may have a significant impact on the lives of our members, and we are here for you. Northeast Credit Union is committed to helping you through this difficult time, and we recognize that these special programs are necessary to ensure your well-being, and the vitality of our communities.”

Northeast Credit Union was founded in 1936 as Portsmouth, NH U.S. Employees Federal Credit Union #1515
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Service Credit Union
Service Credit Union, based in Portmouth, N.H., is offering affected members direct deposit credit and a zero interest loan.

The credit union will post credits to members based on the postings nearest to Jan. 1, 2018, and the credit of that amount will take place on or before Feb. 1, 2018. For members without direct deposit, Service CU is offering interest-free loans for 6 months, up to $3,000.

The credit union’s offer will apply to all military, government service civilians and social security recipients. Once the government resumes posting payrolls, Service Credit Union will reverse this one-time posting.

“Credit unions are owned by the members they serve and we need to help when our members need us the most,” David Van Rossum, Service Credit Union president and CEO, said in a press release. “The credit union should assist all members adversely affected by a government shutdown, especially our military and their families.”

The credit union's headquarters is pictured above.
Department of Justice
Justice Federal Credit Union
The $731 million Justice Federal Credit Union of Chantilly, Va., will offer “special assistance” to all members of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Such members can apply for a Special Assistance Loan, unsecured up to $5,000 at an annual rate of zero percent for the first 90 days. After that time, the rate will convert to 4.90 percent for a term of 24 months. Members in good standing with existing Justice Federal consumer loans or credit cards may request to defer payments on loans, and request assistance with a Justice Federal first mortgage.

In addition, members with a non-IRA share certificate may withdraw funds with no early withdrawal penalty.

“We are here to take care of our members and stand ready to offer special assistance should the government shutdown ― it’s our promise,” Peter Sainato, Justice FCU’s president & CEO, said in advance of the shutdown.

The Department of Justice building in Washington can be seen above.
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Navy Federal Credit Union
The world's largest CU, Navy Federal Credit Union, based in Vienna, Va., is offering members affected by a government shutdown zero percent interest loans up to $6,000.

Navy Federal is calculating the loan amounts based on the amount of the most recent direct deposit of the net pay made before the interruption. For loans to be available, members must register by the day before payday. The credit union will continue to accept registration until three days after a member’s scheduled pay day.

Once direct deposit of net pay resumes, the amount credited to member’s accounts will be automatically deducted as repayment.

Eligible members include:
• Active duty service members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard;
• Army or Air National Guard on federal active service;
• Officer candidates of the Armed Forces; and
• Civilian employees of the Department of Defense.
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Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Hanscom Federal Credit Union, Hanscom Air Force Base, is offering LifeLine loans for members who are furloughed government employees impacted by a government shutdown. The CU is also waiving penalties for premature withdrawals on term share certificates, and qualified members can skip consumer loan payments with no fee.

LifeLine loans carry a zero percent APR for up to 60 days, up to one months’ net payroll up to $5,000. In the event that members need more than 60 days to repay, the loan will be convert to a fixed rate of 8.49 percent for a 12-month term.

“We supported our members throughout the furloughs in 2013,” said Hanscom FCU Chairman of the Board Paul Marotta. “Once again, we are here to provide access to funds so members can cover their expenses. This is part of our mission to be the best possible financial partner.”

Hanscom FCU also offers tools to help members manage a drop in income. The Financial First Aid kit is a free, downloadable guide containing worksheets and advice for prioritizing expenses and evaluating resources.

Members may also take advantage of free financial counseling through BALANCE Financial Fitness. This is a confidential, one-on-one phone session with a certified financial counselor. Members can get help with budgeting, managing credit, and assessing their finances.
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FedChoice Federal Credit Union
FedChoice FCU is offering furlough loans and skip-a-pay programs for members who are federal civilian employees or contractors and do not receive a paycheck as the result of agency closures in the event of a government shutdown.

Employees, retirees or federal contractors for the federal government may receive one month’s net pay as the maximum amount of the furlough loan, though paystubs are required as proof of employment along with a copy of a furlough notice. Payments are not due for 60 days, and loans are available for six-, 12-, 24- or 36-month terms. Interest rates vary by the term of the loan but start as low as 1.50 percent APR.

FedChoice FCU was founded in 1935 by two dozen employees of the Internal Revenue Service.
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America First Credit Union
The $9.2 billion America First Credit Union of Riverdale, Utah, will no-cost counseling services, loan extensions, and various free and low-cost benefits. A special furlough assistance loan of up to $3,000 for federal employees who have been furloughed due to the recent government shutdown will also be available on a one-time-only basis, with terms up to seven months, with one month interest free. The loan has a zero percent interest rate for the first 30 days and then a 4.99 percent interest rate that begins to accrue on day 31.