Creditors continue to assist us government workers as shutdown drags on


The United States Government shutdown is taking a toll on federal workers as they miss their paychecks again this week. Creditors have decided to step in to help them cope as they wait for the government to resume operations. Big banks, telecom companies, utility companies, local credit unions, and other corporations have decided to offer no-interest loans, wave late fees and provide short-term loans to federal workers to reduce their burden.

Bruce McClary, the representative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling said that this is the first time he is experiencing such a nationwide response from creditors on a national level. In his words:

“In my recollection, there has never been such a universal response to a financial crisis. This kind of response is similar to what you get after natural disasters. This is a landmark occurrence with us.”

A few days ago, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling announced that everyone who has been affected by the government shutdown should contact them to get assistance in putting together an emergency budget, developing a recovery plan and preparing for discussions with creditors.

McClary noted that even if it’s still too early to give stats, credit counselors are already receiving calls from federal workers on a national level.

Diane Morais, the president of commercial and consumer banking products at Ally Bank said that federal workers are already calling to request for auto loan reprieve. The bank had initially sent messages about providing shutdown assistance to its customers. However, when the shutdown continued, it sent more specific messages about the types of assistance it would be providing.

Consumer rights advocates have acknowledged the effort made by creditors on a national level. This consideration by creditors is especially important at a time when workers are still paying off their annual bills and holiday loans. Deborah Goldstein, the vice president at the United States center for Responsible Lending said that the shutdown is difficult for workers. She said that creditors are being considerate but she doesn’t know how long the consideration will last.

Mersiha Gadzo

I partially work as an editorial intern for Industry Module, I am journalist and online producer for Al Jazeera English. Prior to joining Al Jazeera I worked as a freelancer in Bosnia & Herzegovina and the occupied Palestinian territories. I also covered health care policy, business, and strategy for FORBES. My work has appeared at Vox, Kaiser Health News and other publications. Full bio

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