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Loans for furloughed employees
Find a list of banks and credit unions you may be able to turn to financial assistance.
Credit unions and banks have offered multiple assistance options for furloughed employees in the past. And if you already have a loan and are struggling to make your monthly repayments, many offer financial hardship assistance on a case-by-case basis.
While most online lenders don’t offer loans specifically for furloughed employees, you might still qualify. 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.
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Federal credit unions
Many federal credit unions have no- or low-interest loans for furloughed employees. But to qualify, you’ll need to join the credit — and you might need to meet other requirements, such as living or working in a specific area or joining a particular organization. Many allow you to open a savings account online with a minimum $5 balance.
Federal credit union loans for furloughed employees
|Credit union||Maximum loan||Term||APR||Eligibility requirements||Other assistance programs||Customer support|
|PenFed Credit Union||Your most recent direct deposit or $6,000, whichever is lower||Typically within your first pay period after the shutdown ends.||0% – 2%||Federal employee on furlough.||Skip a payment on your current loan||800-247-5626|
|ABNB Federal Credit Union||Your last direct deposit amount||2 months or whenever the government processes back pay — whichever is sooner||0%||Skip a payment on your current loan||757-523-5300|
|AgFed Credit Union||$30,000||Up to 5 years — with payment deferred up to 45 days||Starting at 6.49%||Skip a payment on your current loan||800-368-3552|
|Congressional Federal Credit Union||Varies for Relief Line of Credit||3 years||0% during the 60-day draw period, then 4% on the remaining balance||Member of Congressional FCU affected by the shutdown||800-491-2328|
|Democracy Federal Credit Union||Varies||6 months||Starting at 0%||800-742-5582|
|Hanscom Federal Credit Union||$5,000||14 months||0% for the first 60 days, then 8.49%||Member of Hanscom FCU affected by the shutdown||800-656-4328|
|Justice Federal Credit Union||$3,000||2 years — with payment deferred for 3 months||Starting at 3.19%||800-550-5328|
|Lafayette Federal Credit Union||$35,000||3 years||Varies||None||800-888-6560|
|Launch Federal Credit Union||$3,000||1 year||0%||None||800-662-5257|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||$6,000||Automatically deducted from your account when the government processes back pay||0%||None||888-842-6328|
|Space Coast Credit Union||1 month of net pay verified by your direct deposit history||1 year||0%||Withdraw up to $10,000 on your CD without an early withdrawal fee||800-447-7228|
|Transportation Federal Credit Union||$3,000||Up to 18 months||4.5%||800-368-8432|
|US Employees Credit Union||Your last biweekly direct deposit rounded down to the nearest $100||2 months or whenever the government processes back pay — whichever is sooner||0%||312-922-5310|
Some local and larger banks have assistance programs for furloughed employees. In addition to loans, you may be eligible for 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 call customer service to learn what options are available.
Banks that offer assistance for furloughed employees
|Bank||Assistance offered||Customer support line|
|Bank of America||Fee refunds, waivers, repayment plans and loan modifications for current customers||844-219-0690|
|First Command Financial Services||888-763-7600|
|USAA||Low-interest personal loans and other assistance to members of the Coast Guard affected by the shutdown.||800-531-8722|
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 for a longer furlough period, 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.
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 furlough
These tips should help you keep your budget and credit score in check if you’ve been furloughed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
If you’ve been put on furlough, look to federal credit unions and online lenders for loans — and contact your banks to learn about assistance programs you could be eligible for. You can also read our guide to personal loans to learn about other borrowing options available.
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