CUs Provided More than $46M in Low- or No-interest Loans During Shutdown

More than 500 credit unions around the country provided more than $46 million in low- or no-interest loans to more than 60,000 credit union members affected by the 35-day government shutdown that ended Jan. 27.

CUNA recently conducted a survey of credit unions who assisted members during the shutdown and recorded the data from approximately 500 responses.

Survey responses to CUNA showed:

  • More than 60,000 credit union members turned to their credit union for support;
  • More than 11,000 members were afforded loan extensions and other loan modifications, often with associated fees waived; and
  • More than 3,000 people joined a credit union during the shutdown to help them weather the shutdown’s financial uncertainty.

Responses also indicated that, while banks offered to defer existing loans, few if any were able to help customers deal with day-to-day costs, while many credit unions were able to tailor products explicitly for that purpose.

A recent poll from Prudential polling found that 62% of families affected by the shutdown depleted most or all their savings. A poll conducted by Fox News in January found that 54% of Americans are within two paychecks of severe financial stress, and the Prudential poll mentioned previously found 63% of Americans can’t cover a $500 emergency.

CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan contacted all 535 Congressional offices Friday to share the results of CUNA’s research into credit union shutdown efforts.

“We were there. And that’s what we mean when we talk about our people helping people philosophy. Our mission and structure are to serve our members; not investors, not a corporate board, but the men and women who have committed to joining a movement that will be there when times are good to help build personal wealth, and who will be there when things get rough,” Donovan said. “We were there for the shutdown. We were there for the wildfires, the floods, and the hurricanes. And we were there for the daily misfortunes. And we’ll continue to be there.”