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Credit Unions Step Up Amid Shutdown

Credit unions are stepping up during the partial government shutdown, offering affected members a variety of services including special loan rates, skip-a-payment programs, financial counseling and more to ensure members survive any furloughs with their finances intact. 

Mazuma Credit Union (Kansas City) is making a special loan available to federal employees who were members prior to the October 1 shutdown, called the Hand Up Employee Loan Program (HELP). Mazuma is offering these loans at a zero-percent interest rate. Each loan will be written as a single payment loan due in 60 days. Members can receive loans to cover up to two missing pay periods. Mazuma is also waiving all penalties and fees for early withdrawal on certificates of deposit.

Mazuma opened in November 1948 to serve federal employees in the Kansas City area. The credit union currently has three branches serving the IRS, Richard Bolling Building and GSA. The branches have remained open to serve essential employees still working in each building. 

“Our federal members are an important part of Mazuma’s legacy and we are committed to providing solutions that help them manage their cash flow needs during this Congressional impasse,” said Brandon Michaels, Mazuma CEO. “While we hope the federal government will open again soon, we are absolutely committed to helping our members during this difficult time.” 

Mazuma is also working with members who have existing loans and may need temporary modifications.

Arsenal Credit Union (Arnold) serves a large number of National Geospatial Intelligence Agency members who are currently furloughed. To aid these members, the credit union is offering unsecured loans at zero-percent interest for a 12-month period and hardship deferments, which allow members to skip a loan payment without penalty.

“As a not-for-profit cooperative, accommodating financial hardships affecting large segments of our membership is one of our core beliefs,” says Linda Allen, Arsenal president/CEO. “Allowing members to defer a payment or receive a short-term loan allows them to stay on a sound financial course during a temporary bump in the road. It’s one less thing they have to worry about.”

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