Credit unions and NCUA respond to government shutdown

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has made it clear that it will be open for business during the "government shut down and it encouraged credit unions to "maintain a state of readiness to help their members who may be affected by a potential government shutdown."

The NCUA, in a release on September 30, said it would remain open and unaffected in the event of a shutdown, and reminded credit union members that their member shares would still be insured to $250,000 per account, no matter what.

"Credit unions that serve federal workers and the military have responded before to members' financial needs resulting from furloughs, reimbursement delays, suspension of government programs, or the closing of federal buildings housing branches. They need to prepare to do that once again," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said.

The NCUA has also cited its 2011 letter, which recommended credit unions:

  • Ensure policies provide flexibility to respond to members' financial needs;
  • Prepare for service interruptions if a shutdown affects access to credit union offices located in federal buildings;
  • Prudently work with affected members, including providing advances to individuals receiving direct deposits from the federal government;
  • Develop contingency plans with respect to participation in government programs that may be affected by a federal government shutdown;
  • Communicate response plans to members, staff, and volunteers in a timely manner; and
  • Consider offering special programs to assist members who need short-term loans, create loans with special terms and rates, or offer payment flexibility.

Locally, credit unions that serve fields of memberships with a high concentration of military service members or other employees of federal government have implemented services that address their individual needs.  Service Federal Credit Union and Hanscom Federal Credit Union each have 0% interest loans available for members who may end up without a paycheck as a result of the shutdown.