CUNA Shares CU Shutdown Aid with HFSC Chair Maxine Waters

Without having been asked by the government, credit unions are doing the right thing and assisting the federal workers furloughed by the federal government shutdown, CUNA wrote to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) Wednesday. Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, reached out to CUNA for information on how credit unions are assisting those affected by the federal government shutdown.

“Every day, credit unions help their members afford life and, in times of financial crisis, they help them survive. Many have a long history of providing assistance to their members affected by federal or state government shutdowns, plant closures and company furloughs, mergers and failures. It is what we do,” wrote CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “During times of financial crisis, a credit union’s support of its members helps to keep food on the table, gasoline in the car, children in daycare and families in homes. This government shutdown is no different.

We estimate there are at least 500 credit unions that serve a field of membership that includes federal, state or local government employees. The number of credit unions that serve one or more government employee is significantly higher. Credit unions are honored to stand with their members affected by this shutdown, and proud that, unlike other financial services providers, no one had to ask us to do so,” Nussle added.

Nussle highlighted many ways credit unions are assisting affected members, including

  • Offering zero interest personal loans;
  • Extending existing loans;
  • Providing free financial counseling, debt management and financial education;
  • Waiving early withdrawal penalties on certificates of deposit;
  • Allowing members to skip a payment on current loans;
  • Offering loan modification programs;
  • Providing credit protection services;
  • Offering loans matched to pre-existing direct deposit;
  • Providing mortgage loan forbearance;
  • Increasing credit lines temporarily;
  • Supporting community efforts to provide assistance; and
  • Offering individual financial solutions.

The letter also includes CUNA’s list, current as of Wednesday morning, detailing the hundreds of credit unions in all 50 states offering special services to members affected by the shutdown. The list is available on CUNA’s Credit Union Shutdown Assistance Web page and will be updated continuously.

“As the shutdown continues, credit unions’ ability to provide this assistance during a prolonged shutdown depends increasingly on the National Credit Union Administration’s willingness to accommodate the widespread nature of this extraordinary activity,” Nussle wrote. “NCUA has joined with other federal financial regulators to encourage assistance, but we know there are limits to their willingness to accommodate and our members’ ability to provide this assistance. It is critically important that Congress and the administration work to restore funding and reopen the government.”

This letter is part of CUNA’s continued engagement with leaders on Capitol Hill about the many ways credit unions are helping those in their community affected by the shutdown. 

New Jersey credit unions willing to share their story of providing assistance to federal employees currently not working due to the federal government shutdown, should contact NJCUL Vice President of Corporate and Governmental Affairs, Chris Abeel, at cabeel@njcul.org or 1-800-792-8861, ext. 127.