SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (7/1/15)--As of Tuesday afternoon, Illinois lawmakers were no closer to reaching a deal on a new state budget, leaving the paychecks of thousands of state workers in the balance.
Fortunately, should the Legislature fail to reach a deal to fund the government next fiscal year, which begins today, Credit Union 1, Rantoul, Ill., which serves roughly 6,000 state employees, will again extend its Loan Assistance Program to help affected members get by until their next payday.
The Loan Assistance Program, which the credit union first rolled out in 1995, offers members a loan with an interest rate of 0% APR during the assistance period.
Its purpose is to fill in the gaps for employees when a budget dispute, for example, holds up their regular paychecks.
“It’s evolved over time, as we’re always improving upon it, but the bottom line is we always feel, being a credit union, that we’re going out of our way to help you in a time of need,” Brenda Crane, Credit Union 1 senior vice president of lending/chief operations officer, told News Now.
Crane also said that while the credit union won’t extend the 0% APR to state employees who aren’t members of the credit union, Credit Union 1 will offer financing at a higher rate to help nonmembers through the difficult time, should they decide to become members.
For members, the loans may not exceed 50% of the member’s gross salary that has been delayed.
At the termination of the assistance period, the interest rate climbs to 9.9% APR, and at that point the member has 30 calendar days to repay the entire balance.
Meanwhile, Credit Union 1 isn’t the only credit union in the state lending a hand.
Roughly 23 credit unions in Illinois are offering payroll assistance loans, or have asked the Illinois Credit Union League for help on how to offer such loans so that members may weather the storm, according to the league.
The league also has broadened its longstanding relationship with the state Treasurer’s office to figure out how credit unions can offer low-interest state deposits linked to payroll assistance programs.