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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.

Online lenders

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.

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

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


ABNB Federal Credit Union

Your last direct deposit amount

2 months or whenever the government processes back pay — whichever is sooner


  • Member of ABNB FCU
  • Federal government employee or contractor affected by the shutdown

Skip a payment on your current loan


AgFed Credit Union


Up to 5 years — with payment deferred up to 45 days

Starting 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 loan


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

  • 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 Union


6 months

Starting 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


14 months

0% 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


2 years — with payment deferred for 3 months

Starting 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


3 years


  • 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


1 year


  • 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


Automatically deducted from your account when the government processes back pay


  • 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 Union

1 month of net pay verified by your direct deposit history

1 year


  • 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 fee


Transportation Federal Credit Union


Up to 18 months


  • 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 Union

Your last biweekly direct deposit rounded down to the nearest $100

2 months or whenever the government processes back pay — whichever is sooner


  • 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



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 of America

Fee refunds, waivers, repayment plans and loan modifications for current customers



  • 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.



Low-interest personal loans and other assistance to members of the Coast Guard affected by the shutdown.


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.


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.

  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

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.

Frequently asked questions

Written by

Anna Serio

Anna Serio was a lead editor at Finder, specializing in consumer and business financing. A trusted lending expert and former certified commercial loan officer, Anna's written and edited more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. Her expertise and analysis on personal, student, business and car loans has been featured in publications like Business Insider, CNBC and Nasdaq, and has appeared on NBC and KADN. Anna holds an MA in Middle Eastern studies from the American University of Beirut and a BA in Creative Writing from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY. See full profile

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    RefilweMarch 29, 2019

    Can you help me to pay my accounts?

      JoshuaApril 1, 2019Finder

      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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