As the partial government shutdown enters its third week, many federal workers are starting to feel the strain on their wallets.
An estimated 800,000 federal workers are affected by the shutdown, which is pushing to be the longest in history. That figure includes 380,000 people out of work, and more than half working without pay. An additional 4.1 million federal contractors are also affected.
Starting Jan. 11, these workers will be without paychecks, regardless of whether they’re working or not. This means many workers without adequate savings will face challenges making bill payments and meeting other financial obligations.
Lenders offering personal loan relief to workers affected by the government shutdown
If you’re a federal worker with a personal loan and are worried about making your payment this month because of the shutdown, your lender might offer some form of help, whether it’s waiving late fees or accepting deferrals.
The following lenders are offering help to federal workers who face difficulties making payments on their personal loans.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Marcus by Goldman Sachs says affected government employees might be eligible for a payment deferral on their loans.
The loan deferment program allows customers to postpone making a payment on their loan for one month, and there will be no interest charged to the customer during the deferral, according to a Goldman Sachs spokesperson in an emailed statement to Bankrate.
To learn more, customers should call 1-844-MARCUS6 (1-844-627-2876).
SoFi is offering help to customers affected by the shutdown but will do so on a month-by-month basis.
“SoFi is committed to meeting the needs of our members throughout their financial journey. As such, our agents are available to discuss support options for the member’s loan regarding payment deferral during the federal government shutdown,” says a SoFi spokesperson in an emailed statement to Bankrate.
The support options, which include waived late fees and no negative credit reporting, will be available only to federal government employees that are not receiving payroll because of the government shutdown. Support will not be granted to government contractors and/or non-signing spouses, and interest will continue to accrue as normal on the loans.
SoFi personal loan customers can call to SoFi’s Special Handling Team at 844-975-7634. Customers with student loans can reach out to MOHELA at 888-866-4352 to discuss their options.
“We’re committed to helping our Members who are experiencing financial hardship due to the partial government shutdown,” says Scott Saunders, CEO and Founder of Happy Money, Payoff’s parent company, in an emailed statement to Bankrate. “Our dedicated Member Experience team in California is waiting and ready to help.”
Saunders adds that there will be no fees involved for those who seek assistance. Additionally, receiving hardship assistance in the past will not affect a customer’s ability to receive assistance now.
For more information on options relevant to individual situations, Saunders advises customers to:
- Call 1-800-878-0901, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific.
- Chat online, via the homepage chat widget in the bottom right-hand corner.
- Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For assistance with personal loans, customers should call 1-877-269-6056. The line is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central, and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central.
A spokesperson could not be reached for clarification on what type of assistance would be offered.
Prosper will work with customers affected by the shutdown to “try and ease the burden during this time,” says a spokesperson in an emailed statement to Bankrate. This could include payment deferment.
To qualify for help, customers will have to provide documentation of their furlough, such as a notice that they are not getting a paycheck.
Customers can reach out to Prosper by phone at 866-615-6319, or through email (email@example.com), to discuss their options.
The online lender says it generally offers customers who are experiencing hardship a grace delay and/or a 3-month hardship plan. Like other lenders, it varies on a case-by-case basis.
“For borrowers impacted by the shutdown, we may waive late fees and report to the credit bureaus that timeliness of payment may have been impacted by the shutdown,” says a LendingClub spokesperson in an emailed statement to Bankrate.
Customers are encouraged to contact LendingClub directly by phone at 888-596-3157.