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In the Media: Furlough Assistance, Economy, CU Benefits
MADISON, Wis. (10/8/13)--The Credit Union National Association and credit unions weighed in on furlough assistance, the economy and the benefits of credit unions in national media this week.

Furloughs were the big topic as the government shutdown entered into a second week. CUNA Chief Economist told MarketWatch's Breaking News Monday that the effects of the government shutdown are, so far, significant but localized or "micro" rather than "macro." For instance, he said, the shutdown affects 800,000 workers, but that is a few out of a 150 million-worker labor force.

"The shutdown is significant but for a few or a small number," Hampel said.  If it were to last the whole month, the economic growth--which is currently 2%--might drop to 1.9%--which would not be game-changing, he said.  However, not meeting the deadline for the federal deficit is a "completely different matter." Use the link to hear the conversation.

Credit unions are quick to offer assistance to members in times of trouble because they are " in touch with the needs of their members," said Paul Gentile, CUNA' executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement, in an article on CreditCards.com Monday  about how financial institutions are helping consumers during the government shutdown.
 
"You'll find that credit unions are much more organized and much more responsive when it comes to something like this because of their experiences with it," Gentile added. He noted many credit union members are government employees who have been furloughed before.
 
Among those cited as examples of financial institutions with policies designed to help affected federal workers were:
  • Andrews FCU, Suitland, Md., offering bridge loans of up to $5,000 to qualified members. The loans are interest-free for 90 days. After that, usual interest rates apply.
  • Hanscom FCU, Hanscom AFB, Mass., offering federal employees up to a $5,000 line of credit extended if their checking accounts become overdrawn. The credit line is interest-free for 60 days. The credit union is also waiving penalty fees for withdrawals from certificates of deposit, the article said.
See related News Now story, CUs Offering Help To Furloughed  Fed Employees, by using the link.

More stories about the shutdown and what credit unions are doing to help have appeared  in American Banker, Yahoo!Finance, Politico, Money Talks News, BBJ Today, Des Moines Register and WDRBNews.
 
Also, in the media:
  • The Daily Rundown featured cooperatives offering health insurance in 23 states;
  • Daily Finance.com noted secured cards issued by credit unions are most likely to be fee-free; and
  • Politix reminded readers that credit unions did not cause the financial crisis.
Use the "In the Media" link to access most of the stories.
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