Living paycheck-to-paycheck is something plenty of Summit County residents are used to, but for some, those paychecks have stopped coming due to a week-long federal government shutdown.
Alpine Bank president Glen Jammaron said more than 800,000 federal workers are without paychecks, furloughed by the shutdown, including as many as an estimated 54,000 people in Colorado.
“They are our friends, neighbors and important contributors to our community,” he said. “They are without groceries. They are without gas in their cars.”
On Oct. 4, Jammaron announced Alpine Bank has set aside $13 million to loan furloughed federal workers the net amount of their paycheck, interest-free. This offer is available to both bank members and people who are not current customers, but have been affected.
Federal workers will be responsible for paying back the loan once the government shutdown ends. Alpine Bank offered similar loans during the last government shutdown in 1995.
Customers who have Alpine Bank credit cards who have been furloughed will be able to defer one payment as well.
“Alpine Bank sees no benefit in pointing fingers or placing blame,” Jammaron said. “We would rather do everything we can to help struggling local federal workers and their families. While the politicians battle politics, Alpine would rather take steps to care for our own.”
Furloughed employees can bring their last paystub and proof of identification to any local Alpine Bank for service. There are 36 banking offices throughout the western slope.
“A benefit of being local is that we’re small enough to get things done,” Jammaron said. “We can make decisions quickly. We live, work here, our kids go to school where the people in need are. That’s the difference between a big bank and a small bank.”
Credit Union of the Rockies is also offering relief for furloughed employees who are members of the bank with direct deposit. Those impacted by the shutdown can receive the following: payment vacations with the $25 fee waived, waived late fees on loan payments, temporary rate of reduction on overdraft line of credit and more.
Amanda Munier at the Golden branch of Credit Union of the Rockies said these offers are designed to help those members affected most by the shutdown.
“If they get direct deposit normally, we’re offering ways to change that payment,” she said. “Or skip a month, on say, a car loan. Plus we’re waiving some late fees and offering different types of loans that temporarily have lower rates.”
As far as larger national banks, members should contact their bank directly to see what services are available.
A representative from 1st Bank said the company is addressing needs on a case-by-case basis to adjust payment on loans if needed.
Cristie Drumm, Wells Fargo spokesperson for Colorado, said the bank is working with customers on an individual basis to see what they need.
“We want to be flexible,” she said. “They should come in and talk to a banker, and hopefully all this can get resolved soon.”
Federal furloughed workers may also be able to receive help from the state unemployment office.
For more information about a paycheck loan or to locate a branch of Alpine Bank, visit www.alpinebank.com. This offer is open to any federal employee furloughed by the shutdown, customer or not, in communities the bank serves.