Redstone Federal Credit Union is standing with its members affected by the current government shutdown by offering low-interest loans and other benefits.
Members may apply for a loan at 2% interest of up to $5,000 – or their net monthly pay. The first loan payment is delayed for 60 days.
Members may also request Skip-a-Pay on certain Redstone loans to free up cash for other expenses. That loan payment can be deferred for one month.
“We want our members and their families to know that we are here to help,’’ said Joe Newberry, Redstone’s President and CEO. “We stand with our members and are here to listen and offer resources and options to help them successfully survive their government shutdown.’’
More than 5,500 federal workers across Alabama were furloughed or are working unpaid during the government shutdown. In Huntsville, 95% of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center employees are furloughed, according to data from Governing.
In addition to federal employees, many contract employees who work directly with these federal agencies are also affected and may need assistance.
With the holidays just ending, some workers may have already dug into their savings or faced additional expenses, making the shutdown even more financially stressful.
Redstone’s certified financial counselors are available to talk one-on-one with members who have questions or concerns about their family’s finances. They can help with loan payment evaluations and provide assistance on budgeting and money management.
Federal employees and contractors can, in most circumstances, file for unemployment benefits during a government shutdown.
Tara Hutchinson, spokesperson with the Alabama Department of Labor, said workers can file immediately for unemployment benefits if they meet the state’s eligibility requirements. However, once federal employees receive their back pay after the shutdown, those funds will have to be repaid.
“Repayment arrangements can be made through our department,’’ Hutchinson said. Find more information on their site.
Many of North Alabama’s non-profits are standing ready to assist if the shutdown continues for additional weeks.
Shirley Schofield, executive director of the Food Bank of North Alabama, said that she is reaching out to local food pantries this week to see if they are experiencing an uptick in requests.
“We are preparing ourselves in case there is an influx of orders,’’ Schofield said. “This is what food banks are designed for. We fill a need when families are in crisis or face emergencies. We hope the shutdown gets resolved soon.’’ she said.