It looks as if January 15 will be the first pay period that Coast Guard families will miss due to the 2019 Government Shutdown. You can read more about how and why we got to this spot here. But the facts are, more than 40,000 members of the Coast Guard will not be paid on time for their January 15 paycheck.
USAA loan option
USAA has rolled out a new loan product for military families affected by the shutdown. With government shutdowns becoming increasingly likely and prolonged, USAA has reevaluated and revamped their loan options to give military families more flexibility. In the past, USAA offered a 0% interest payroll advance– which meant that members borrowed their entire paycheck amount during government shutdowns. Now, members affected by government shutdowns can choose how much they need and can pick a flexible payment plan. If you choose an automatic payment plan, your APR for the loan is 0.01%. Others without an automatic payment plan will have a .026% APR.
To qualify, you must be a USAA member who is affected by the shutdown as a member of the Coast Guard or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps. Retired and separated members are not eligible. You must also have received a direct deposit to your USAA Deposit Account from the Coast Guard or NOAA in October and November 2018. If you’re eligible; check your email. You should already have a detailed communication from USAA waiting for you.
Navy Federal loan option
Navy Federal Credit Union has announced a loan option for affected members of the Coast Guard as well. These 0% APR loans are available if you register during and up to three days after your paycheck is to arrive. The amount you’re eligible to borrow against is contingent upon what the government direct deposits into your NFCU account. The loan range spans $250 to $6,000. Repayment is automatically deducted in full once the government shutdown ends and your first paycheck hist your NFCU account. For more information, click here.
American Legion Grants
The American Legion is working with Coast Guard Mutual Assistance to offer grants to “help minor children in the home of active-duty servicemembers or current American Legion members with assistance for the costs of shelter, food, utilities, clothing, and health expenses during times of financial need.” Eligible Coast Guard families can request up to $1,500. Learn more here.
Baker Boyer Bank Grants
Located in Washington State, the Baker Boyer Bank is offering interest-free loans of up to $10,000 during the government shutdown. You can learn more here.
Bank of America Assistance
Bank of America has sent out an email communication to those they have identified as being affected by the federal shutdown. If you’re a current Bank of America customer and did not receive a communication (or have no idea what you did with it), you can also call 844.219.069 to find out what your options are. Read about it here.
Chase Bank Assistance
If you are a current customer of Chase Bank, call 1-888-356-0023. Read more here.
Wells Fargo Assistance
Wells Fargo is encouraging current customers affected by the government shutdown to call 1-800-TO-WELLS. You may be eligible for forbearance and/or payment assistance. Find out more here.
Bank of the West Assistance
Bank of the West has a message on their homepage encouraging current customers to call 800-488-2265, option 9.
Capital One’s pop-up message on their website says, “Our customer assistance program offers a number of options that could help customers whose income is disrupted as a result of the shutdown and can help provide personalized assistance to those in need. We want to do our part to support individuals and families in need during this stressful time. Please call us or visit any of our locations for further assistance.”
First Command Financial Services
FCFS is offering a variety of options for their customers including a payroll advance, waiving fees for cashing in CDs, and loan payment assistance. Find out more about these options and other services that you may qualify for here.
These companies are offering help for folks affected by the government shutdown. (Please note that this is not a complete list. Contact the organizations you work with if you have questions about their own policies during the federal shutdown.)
- AT&T is offering a flexible payment option
- DirecTV is offering a flexible payment option
- Sprint is offering flexible payment options relative to your situation
- T-Mobile is offering flexible payment and payment deferral options
- Verizon has a “Promise to Pay” option that you can set up from your phone
- Individual YMCAs are offering waived fees on workouts to folks affected by the government shutdown. Check your local YMCA.
In Coast Guard- and federal worker-heavy areas, there have been some reports of pop-up food distribution centers catering to families directly affected by the government shutdown.
- Washington, D.C. pop-up food distribution information
- Calvert County, MD food distribution information
- Tampa Bay, FL food distribution information
- Alameda County, CA food distribution information
- Call 617-755-7413 to find out about the nex food distribution event the Massachusetts Military Military Support Foundation is holding to support Coast Guard members in the Boston area