Loans for furloughed employees

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No-interest financing and more for federal employees during the government shutdown.

It’s usually difficult to get a loan or put your bills on hold when you’re not getting paid. But if you’re one of the 800,000 workers furloughed over the recent government shutdown, you may be eligible for financial assistance from select credit unions and banks — from 0% APR personal loans to forbearance on current bills. However, that eligibility might not extend to federal contractors.

Where to find a loan during the government shutdown

Credit unions and banks offer assistance programs designed to help federal employees make it through the government shutdown. If you already have a loan you might know some government loan programs have completely stopped during the shutdown, while others are just experiencing delays. If you already have a loan, your repayments likely won’t be affected.

Federal credit unions

Many federal credit unions are extending no- or low-interest loans for furloughed employees affected by the government shutdown.

You must join the credit union to be eligible for a loan. Many allow you to open a savings account online with a minimum $5 balance. You might need to meet other requirements, such as living or working in a specific area or joining a particular organization.

Federal credit union loans for furloughed employees
Credit unionMaximum loanTermAPREligibility requirementsOther assistance programsCustomer support
PenFed Credit UnionYour most recent direct deposit or $6,000, whichever is lowerTypically within your first pay period after the shutdown ends.0% – 2%Federal employee on furlough.Skip a payment on your current loan800-247-5626
ABNB Federal Credit UnionYour last direct deposit amount2 months or whenever the government processes back pay — whichever is sooner0%
  • Member of ABNB FCU
  • Federal government employee or contractor affected by the shutdown
Skip a payment on your current loan757-523-5300
AgFed Credit Union$30,000Up to 5 years — with payment deferred up to 45 daysStarting at 6.49%
  • Member of AgFed Credit Union or willing to become one
  • Federal government employee or contractor with proof of furlough
Skip a payment on your current loan800-368-3552
Congressional Federal Credit UnionVaries for Relief Line of Credit3 years0% during the 60-day draw period, then 4% on the remaining balanceMember of Congressional FCU affected by the shutdown
  • Defer payments on new personal loans for up to 60 days
  • Increase the credit limit on your current line of credit
  • Defer payments on your current loans and credit cards
  • Penalties waived for early withdrawal from your CD
  • Free financial coaching
Democracy Federal Credit UnionVaries6 monthsStarting at 0%
  • Member of Democracy FCU or willing to become one
  • Federal government employee affected by the shutdown
  • Deferred payments on your current loans for up to 90 days
  • Free financial counseling services
Hanscom Federal Credit Union$5,00014 months0% for the first 60 days, then 8.49%Member of Hanscom FCU affected by the shutdown
  • Penalties waived for early withdrawal from your CD
  • Skip a payment on your current loans
Justice Federal Credit Union$3,0002 years — with payment deferred for 3 monthsStarting at 3.19%
  • Member of Justice FCU for at least 6 months
  • Department of Justice or Department of Homeland Security employee affected by the shutdown
  • Apply within 90 days of shutdown
  • Deferred payments on your current personal loans, auto loans and credit cards for 30 days
  • Mortgage assistance
Lafayette Federal Credit Union$35,0003 yearsVaries
  • Member of Lafayette FCU for at least 30 days
  • Federal government employee affected by the shutdown
  • Enroll in autopay for your loan
  • Meet standard underwriting criteria
Launch Federal Credit Union$3,0001 year0%
  • Member of Launch FCU or willing to become one
  • Existing federal or contract employee affected by the shutdown
  • Pay verification and establish direct deposit into Launch FCU account
  • Apply by January 31, 2019
Navy Federal Credit Union$6,000Automatically deducted from your account when the government processes back pay0%
  • Member of Navy Federal Credit Union with direct deposit
  • Existing federal government employee or active-duty servicemember of the Coast Guard
  • Apply 1 day before or 3 days after your scheduled pay date
Space Coast Credit Union1 month of net pay verified by your direct deposit history1 year0%
  • Member of SCCU with direct deposit set up prior to government shutdown
  • Federal government or civilian employee, government contractor with payroll received from federal government or military member
Withdraw up to $10,000 on your CD without an early withdrawal fee800-447-7228
Transportation Federal Credit Union$3,000Up to 18 months4.5%
  • Member of Transportation FCU or willing to become one
  • Existing federal government employee with proof of furlough
  • Skip a payment on your current loans
  • Free financial counseling
US Employees Credit UnionYour last biweekly direct deposit rounded down to the nearest $1002 months or whenever the government processes back pay — whichever is sooner0%
  • Federal government employee affected by the shutdown
  • Member of USECU with an account in good standing
  • Direct deposit of government pay into a USECU account immediately before the shutdown
  • Apply by January 15, 2019
  • Skip a payment on your current loans
  • Penalties waived for early withdrawal from your share certificate — up to $5,000

Our top pick: PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 650
  • Min. Loan Amount: $500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $25,000
  • APR: 6.49% to 17.99%
  • Requirements: Good credit standing, PenFed member, US citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old
  • Low APR
  • Online application and quick approval
  • Monthly payment calculator

Our top pick: PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans

With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 650
  • Min. Loan Amount: $500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $25,000
  • APR: 6.49% to 17.99%
  • Requirements: Good credit standing, PenFed member, US citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old


Some local and larger banks have set up assistance programs for furloughed employees. In addition to loans, many banks offer forbearance on existing mortgages, personal loans and credit cards. You might also find reversed overdraft fees, reduced or waived penalties for withdrawing from a CD early and other benefits.

Not all banks advertise these assistance programs, so you might want to call customer service to learn the options available to you.

Banks that offer assistance for furloughed employees
BankAssistance offeredCustomer support line
Bank of AmericaFee refunds, waivers, repayment plans and loan modifications for current customers 844-219-0690
  • Waives or refunds overdraft and monthly service fees from December 24, 2018, until the government shutdown ends. Waiver applies to federal employees signed up for direct deposit into a Chase account in November 2018.
  • Other hardship programs for Chase customers vary depending on your situation.
Citi Bank
  • Adjusts fees and interest for current customers.
  • Short-term forbearance, adjusted repayments or loan modifications.
First Command Financial Services
  • 0% APR payroll advance for federal employees signed up for direct deposit into a First Command account.
  • Penalty-free early withdrawals on CDs.
  • Repayment assistance on loans.
  • Increased credit limit and deferred monthly payments on credit card accounts.
  • Low-interest lines of credit backed by a tax-free mutual fund.
  • Free financial counseling.
Huntington Bank
  • Waives checking account overdraft fees.
  • Refunds overdraft fees backdated to December 23, 2018.
  • Low-interest personal loans available until February 6, 2019, or until the shutdown ends — whichever comes first.
Provident Bank
  • Up to 2 refunds of late fees on mortgages, home equity loans and credit cards.
  • Up to 3 refunds on overdraft fees on checking accounts.
  • Refund on minimum balance fee for checking and savings accounts.
  • Waives early-withdrawal penalty fees on CDs.
USAALow-interest personal loans and other assistance to members of the Coast Guard affected by the shutdown.800-531-8722
Wells Fargo
  • Forbearance and other payment assistance for current mortgage, personal loan, auto loan and credit card customers.
  • Waives monthly service, overdraft and NSF fees for customers signed up for direct deposit as of November 2018.

Online lenders

While most online lenders don’t offer loans specifically for furloughed employees, you might qualify for a loan. These lenders tend to be less strict than banks about credit requirements and can get you funds in as little as one business day. You also might be able borrow more than what banks or federal credit unions are offering furloughed employees.

You must have good credit to get a competitive rate, however. If you’re concerned about qualifying because of your furloughed status, call customer service to explain your situation — they might be willing to work out a loan that fits your situation. Some lenders like Marcus by Goldman Sachs are offering deferment for furloughed customers with current loans.

Compare online lenders now
Updated October 21st, 2019
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
3.84% to 35.99%
Good to excellent credit
Get loan offers from multiple lenders at once without affecting your credit score.
Varies by lender
Available for all credit scores
Get connected with a lender — or get debt advice.
6.49% to 17.99%
With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.
6.98% to 35.89%
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
3.99% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
34% to 155% (Varies by state)
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
6.95% to 35.89%
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
4.99% to 35.99%
Good to excellent credit
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
3.84% to 35.99%
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
5.99% to 17.66%
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

Compare up to 4 providers

TSP loans for employees on furlough

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) agency allows federal employees on furlough to withdraw from their TSP accounts without penalty if they believe they’ll be on furlough for less than 30 days.

But since this shutdown inching toward a month with no end in sight, a TSP loan might not be the best option. That’s because TSP automatically deducts repayments from your pay check 60 days after issuing the loan — even if you’re still furloughed. There’s a chance you could end up defaulting on your loan.

Are federal contractors eligible for assistance?

Not always — especially if you’re applying for a loan. Some require you to be a full-time federal employee. Others might offer assistance to federal employees in a specific department. Check with your lender to make sure you’re eligible before you apply for any kind of assistance.

5 steps to protect your finances during the shutdown

Make sure your credit score and other personal finances stay relatively unaffected by the government shutdown with a few helpful tips.

  1. Contact your creditors. While your provider might already know you’re a federal employee, it’s worth reaching out to explain your situation and learn about your options. A creditor might be willing to offer assistance even if they don’t advertise an assistance program.
  2. Talk to your landlord and utilities providers. You might learn they’re willing to accept a reduced or late payment in light of your situation. And the sooner you let them know, the better.
  3. File for unemployment. You might be eligible for unemployment benefits while you’re on a temporary leave of absence — which means you might not need that loan after all.
  4. Assess your budget. Knowing where you can cut back and where you need assistance can help you figure out the types of help or financing to focus on — if you need it at all.
  5. Consider a budgeting app. Apps can help you easily keep track of your spending so you don’t accidentally go over your furlough budget.

How to prioritize my bills during a government shutdown

How long did the last government shutdown last?

The most recent government shutdown lasted 35 days. It ran from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 and was the longest government shutdown in US history.

Bottom line

Many lenders understand that the government shutdown isn’t the fault of those hurt by it most. Look to federal credit unions and online lenders for loans, and contact your banks to learn about assistance programs that might apply to your situation.

Read our guide to personal loans to learn about other borrowing options available.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RefilweMarch 29, 2019

    Can you help me to pay my accounts?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaApril 1, 2019Staff

      Hi Refilwe,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you.

      To help you pay your accounts, you might want to check the list of lenders listed above. There are credit unions, banks, and online lenders that you can choose from. You can also read more about their descriptions and determine if they are the right option for you. Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


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