USAA, which caters to U.S. military service members and their families, said the loans are aimed at assisting customers who are likely to experience a paycheck disruption in the event of a government shutdown should lawmakers fail to agree on a budget before the end of the month.
Lawmakers have just a handful of working days left to end a gridlock and reach an agreement on a plan to fund federal agencies after current funding expires on Sept. 30. If a deal isn’t reached by the deadline, federal employees deemed essential will continue to work without pay. Those employees are guaranteed back pay once the government reopens.
“Our members can count on USAA to be there for them in the event of a government shutdown and help them stay on track financially if they experience any interruptions in pay,” Mark Pregmon, USAA Federal Savings Bank vice president of consumer lending, said in a statement. “Stability plays an important role in the financial security of our members, and empowering that security is our mission.”
In the event of a shutdown, USAA said it will also offer eligible members payment assistance options across its banking and insurance products.
The San Antonio-based insurance and financial services company said members eligible for the government shutdown loans must have direct deposit for their government paychecks set up for a USAA checking or savings account as of the federal government shutdown date.
Eligible members must also have had one qualifying direct deposit to this same USAA bank account within 30 days prior to the beginning of the shutdown, the firm said.
USAA is not the only financial firm to offer assistance to federal employees impacted by the looming shutdown.
Members of PenFed Credit Union can qualify for an interest-free loan up to $6,000 through its government furlough Direct Deposit Assistance program, a spokesperson told Federal Times.
The credit union will also give impacted members with existing loans the option to skip payments, according to Federal Times. Interest will still accrue on the loans, but a payment is not required, according to the publication.
During the last government shutdown in 2019, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase touted their efforts to help federal employees impacted by the lapse in paychecks.
Bank of America pledged $10,000 to an emergency fund to provide assistance to furloughed workers, while former Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said the San Francisco-based bank donated $250,000 in charitable assistance as well as waived around $3 million in fees, Reuters reported in 2019.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told employees the firm was donating $1 million to charities providing assistance to federal workers impacted by the 2019 shutdown, the wire service reported.