Federal Shutdown Doesn’t Stop CU Member Service

CUs respond to help members left in the lurch.

November 1, 2013

CUs that go above and beyond in looking out for members' interests demonstrate the principles of CUNA's national Unite for Good campaign—removing barriers, creating awareness, and fostering service excellence.

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The bad news is when a political dispute shuts down the U.S. government. The good news is the speed with which credit unions respond to help members left in the lurch.

Prior to Oct. 1, when the federal government cut off all but essential services, dozens of credit unions had plans in place to assist members. The shutdown left 800,000 employees furloughed, while more than a million worked without pay.

In response, credit unions large and small implemented the Unite for Good principle of service excellence, offering a range of assistance to federal employees.

Shutdown assistance typically includes emergency loans, payroll advance assistance, skip-a-payment programs, penalty-free share certificate withdrawals, and financial counseling or loan workouts.

Andrews Federal Credit Union, Suitland, Md., and Tyndall Federal Credit Union, Panama City, Fla., each serve more than 100,000 members including federal employees in the U.S., on military bases, and overseas. Their websites offers information on assistance options.

Beyond service excellence, credit unions offering shutdown assistance demonstrate another Unite for Good tenet as they create awareness in their communities.

“Please reiterate our mission,” Jim Morrell, president/CEO of $149 million asset Peninsula Community Credit Union, Shelton, Wash., tells his employees. “We listen, we serve, we educate, we care—always.”