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Community First Credit Union Announces Federal Shutdown Relief Program

By: Maria Coppola, APR, CPRC

Posted on 1/10/2019 4:00:00 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 10, 2019Community First Credit Union, headquartered in Jacksonville, announces it has instituted a special program designed to help affected federal workers during the government shutdown. Friday, January 11 marks the first payday workers will miss under the shutdown that began on Dec. 22, 2018. 

“As the shutdown continues and this first missed payday looms large for federal workers in our region, we started to receive calls from our federal worker members,” said John Hirabayashi, CEO and president of Community First Credit Union. “While this is the first time in more than 22 years that we’ve had to institute such a program, it is part of the culture of credit unions to create programs that help our members through a financial crisis.”

Under this special relief program, Community First Credit Union offers impacted federal worker members benefits including:

  • A no-interest payroll loan – this loan is granted interest-free to replace the first missed paycheck for federal workers. 
    • Members who are federal employees affected by the shutdown and receiving direct deposit at Community First will be offered an interest-free loan for a term of 45 days. Upon receipt of the first direct deposit after the shutdown, the loan will be repaid in full.
    • Members who are federal employees affected by the shutdown but not receiving direct deposit at Community First will be offered a short-term loan based on their most recent paystub gross pay. An advance equal to 75 percent of gross pay will be provided with repayment terms between 3 and 18 months.
  • Instant line of credit increases – for members with existing lines of credit.
  • Instant credit card increases – for members with existing credit card limits.
  • New unsecured credit requests – for members with direct deposit, for amortizing personal loans, line of credit or credit cards. Approvals based on previous credit history and history at the credit union.
  • Penalty-free early withdrawal on certificates of deposits – no penalties on partial or full withdrawal by affected federal employees.

The relief program is available to any federal worker member of the credit union who requests assistance. Members can request assistance by visiting a branch or calling customer service at (904) 354-8537.

“It is our hope that our federal worker members will not suffer financial stress,” said Susan Verbeck, chief lending officer at Community First Credit Union. “Federal workers should not have to resort to high interest loans or predatory payday loans to make it through this shutdown.”

Community First Credit Union of Florida is a state-chartered credit union based in Jacksonville serving anyone who lives or works on the First Coast. Community First is one of the 10 largest credit unions in the state, serving more than 133,000 members and with assets of $1.6 billion. Community First has 19 locations and 300 employees. A not-for-profit, Community First is a full-service financial institution offering banking, loans, mortgages and investments for consumers and businesses throughout the First Coast. For more information visit