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A full month into the federal government shutdown, many furloughed federal employees are still working without pay. Their lack of income can make it difficult for them to provide for themselves and their families, so financial institutions are stepping in to help.
Banks that offer checking accounts, for example, are temporarily not charging overdraft and monthly service fees for their federal employee account holders. Most of these institutions are encouraging their federal employee customers to call them or visit their local bank branch for deeper, case-by-case help.
Credit card institutions are being similarly lenient. Federal employee cardholders with consistent on-time payments and good credit scores can receive refunds or waivers on interest charges and late fees. In some cases, they can even have their credit lines expanded, at least temporarily. As with banks, credit card institutions are encouraging their federal employee users to call them for case-by-case assistance.
Financial institutions that offer mortgages are stepping in to help, too. Many such institutions are offering federal employees assistance in the form of loan modifications, forbearance programs, and repayment plans. Late fees may often be waived as well. It is especially important, even more so than for credit card and checking account holders, that federal employees who hold mortgages call their financial institutions directly to discuss their situations and learn of the options available to them.
The government shutdown has made life financially challenging for many federal employees, but solutions do exist. If you’re among the many federal workers currently not receiving your regular paychecks, a call to your financial institutions or a visit to your local bank branch may really make a difference.