Struggling Coast Guard Members Offered Interest-Free Emergency 'Shutdown' Loans

As the financial situation grows increasingly dire for hundreds of thousands of unpaid federal workers, a credit union serving military personnel is offering no-interest “government shutdown” loans to eligible active duty Coast Guard members and some civilian workers.

The Navy Federal Credit Union has posted information on its websites about the loans for eligible members. The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military not being paid under the partial shutdown, but thousands of members doing many essential services are still expected to work. The Navy Federal Credit Union serves the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, veterans and civilian members of the Department of Defense.

The Congressional Federal Credit Union and the U.S. Employees Credit Union, which serves federal workers and retirees, are also offering interest-free loans to eligible employees.

Some banks are following suit, including the Cabrillo Credit Union in San Diego, which is loaning government employees their paycheck value interest-free until the shutdown is over.

“Federal employees they weren’t expecting this,” Cabrillo CEO Jonathan Zide told KGTV. “The important thing is for us to help them through this in the different ways that we can.”

Alpine Bank in Colorado has set aside $5 million to help furloughed workers pay their rent and mortgages, The Aspen Times reports.

The bank loans are among increasing aid becoming available for unpaid federal workers while they are squeezed by finances. Thousands of furloughed workers are going to food pantries across the nation, including pop-up distribution sites in the District of Columbia.

“If you’re a federal employee or contractor impacted by the government shutdown, it is our honor to provide support during this time,” notes the website for the End Hunger project in Calvert County Maryland.

Cities and counties are providing lists of services available to workers.

But workers continue to struggle with childcare and healthcare costs, as well as with rent, mortgage and education expenses for their children

The partial shutdown, the longest in American history, doesn’t appear anywhere close to a resolution. President Donald Trump is refusing to sign a spending bill if it doesn’t include $5.7 billion for his border wall.

An estimated 420,000 federal employees are working without pay, and roughly 380,000 have been furloughed.

Trump insisted again in an interview Saturday with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, without evidence, that “a lot” of the people “that aren’t getting their checks are letting us know, ‘We don’t care,’” because they want the border wall. People can’t call the White House switchboard to express their opinions about the matter because it has been closed during the shutdown.

Trump was attacked Saturday by one of his biographers as a “trust fund baby” who has no idea what it means for workers to suddenly lose their pay — and in many cases still be ordered to work.

“He’s a trust fund baby,” Tim O’Brien, author of the 2005 book TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald, said on MSNBC. “He was born with a silver [spoon] in his mouth and has absolutely no empathy or understanding for what average people go through, confronting things like not able to buy groceries, pay a mortgage or the utilities bill.”

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