Affected by the Government Shutdown?
We’re here to help.
For millions of Americans, an unexpected financial setback can make it feel like our world is caving in around us. If you or a loved one has been affected by the government shutdown, it’s important to know that you are not alone, and that everything is going to be okay.
If you are affected by the government shutdown, West Shore Bank may be able to help. Here are some of the ways we can provide assistance:
- Federal Relief Loan
These loans are available to almost all customers who have direct deposit of their government pay with West Shore Bank. They are interest free (0.00% APR) and for a term of up to 60 days. Approval for these short-term loans is not based on your credit score! That's right, credit reports will not be pulled.
To qualify for this loan, you must satisfy all three of these requirements:
- You are a federal government employee whose direct deposit of pay will be impacted by a government shutdown; and
- Your West Shore Bank accounts are in good standing; and
- Your direct deposit of government pay (net check or bi-weekly allotment of at least $500) was deposited into a West Shore Bank account immediately preceding the government shutdown.
Loan amounts will be calculated by rounding your last two bi-weekly direct deposits down to the nearest $100.00 increment. For example, if your last government pay was $3,479.41 your maximum loan amount could be $6,900.00 ($3,479.41 x 2). If your direct deposit is deposited into more than one West Shore Bank account, your loan amount will be based upon the total amount of direct deposits.
The Government Shutdown Loan must be repaid in 60 days or when the government processes back pay, whichever is sooner. West Shore Bank will debit the account initially credited and payoff the loan.
In the event you do not qualify for a Loan as stated above, and you currently have a West Shore Bank Loan, you may be eligible for a monthly Skip-A-Payment on your West Shore Bank Loan.
- Certificate of Deposit Withdrawals
We are offering waivers on early withdrawals from West Shore Bank Certificates of Deposit. If you would like to withdraw funds (up to $5,000) from your West Shore Bank Certificate of Deposit penalty free, please contact us at 888.295.4373.
We understand each person’s needs are different. We will take the time to listen and work with you to find a solution.
Please call us today at 888.295.4373. We are ready to help!
To support you in setting a plan for managing your expenses, West Shore Bank has put together a list of suggested steps (below) for you to utilize.
Step 1: List Out and Prioritize Your Expenses
The first thing to do is understand your overall financial situation so you can get an idea of what you need to pay and what you have to work with.
When prioritizing which bills you should pay first, begin with basic needs (shelter, food, heat, lights).
Once you’ve taken care of yourself, attend to your debts in order of priority. While threats of a low credit score or calls from a debt collector can be intimidating, it’s important to focus on paying down debts with collateral (something that can be taken from you) such as a house or car payment. After your financial crisis passes, you can work on catching up with unsecured debts like credit cards, internet, and cable bills.
Step 2: Open Lines of Communication
Talk to your lenders or creditors to see if there is anything you can do regarding upcoming bills. Many financial institutions and service providers are offering assistance programs and other freebies to employees experiencing financial hardship during the shutdown, ranging from no-interest loans to refunding normal fees. Many utility companies also offer utility payment plans for people with financial hardships.
Step 3: Look for Ways to Generate Cash, And Cut Spending Where Possible
Look for ways to earn extra income such as selling unused items, offering ride share services or performing freelance work or odd jobs.
One additional option for furloughed workers is to apply for unemployment. (Note, those who continue to work through the shutdown are not eligible for unemployment insurance.) It is also important to know that any unemployment compensation given during a shutdown must be repaid once the government reopens. Several federal websites, such as the Office of Personnel Management’s, have FAQs for furloughed workers that include information on how to file for benefits.
In addition to finding additional sources of money, evaluate your current spending habits to see where you may be able to make adjustments to spend less: set a strategy to save money on groceries, see if you can freeze your gym membership, reduce your cable bill, lower your energy usage, and cut any non-essential spending you can such as entertainment and eating out.
Step 4: Contact GreenPath, our Trusted Non-Profit Partner
A nonprofit team of certified financial and housing counselors at GreenPath is available to help. They offer compassionate, judgment-free coaching and advice free of charge to federal employees and anyone seeking support for paying off debt or needing guidance on what to say when contacting creditors. They can also support you to make a plan for the future to ensure you are prepared for life’s curve balls. Contact them today!