Federal shutdown silver lining: Credit unions plugged the holes before their members drowned in debt

The federal shutdown was a conundrum: Even as it dragged on for a record-setting 35 days, it was a fast-moving story in the media – and might be again in three weeks, when the temporary stay could be lifted. All that has made it difficult for financial institutions to respond – especially those who serve federal workers.

Earlier this month, NAFCU reported that, “Financial industry regulators, including the NCUA, are encouraging member institutions to find ways to help borrowers that are affected by the ongoing partial government shutdown.”

Finding those ways consumed Vitalia Garcia’s thoughts. Garcia is administrative assistant for member services at the Miami Federal Credit Union – which has 3,000 members.

“It’s so frustrating,” she said right before the shutdown ended. “Our members are very anxious. Many of them live paycheck to paycheck, so even missing one means they can’t pay their bills. Some of them are struggling to buy food.”


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