CUNA responds to Sens’ request for CU services during shutdown

January 24, 2019

CUNA sent information on credit union assistance efforts for members affected by the government shutdown to a group of five senators Thursday. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chris Van Hollen (D-Mary.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), all members of the Senate Banking Committee, reached out to credit unions and other financial institutions Thursday seeking information about how federal workers are getting assistance.

“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, 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.”

CUNA estimates that at least 500 credit unions serve a field of membership that includes federal, state or local government employees, and the number of credit unions that have members that work for the federal government 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,” the letter reads.

CUNA noted its shutdown assistance homepage, and attached the list of credit unions providing assistance, current as of Thursday afternoon.

CUNA also highlighted credit union offerings such as:

  • 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.

CUNA has been reaching out to Congressional offices with similar information on a regular basis since the shutdown began, and also shared it with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chair of the House Financial Services Committee.