This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

As the partial government shutdown stretches into its fourth week, the longest-ever stalemate in Washington, D.C.’s history is creating insanely long security lines at some of the country’s airports, painting apocalyptic scenes at national park restrooms and eating away at business’ bottom lines. Those impacts may create headaches for some of us, but the biggest victims in the government shutdown are the federal employees who are not being paid.

While some TPG readers have shown just how caring they are with questions about the ability to tip TSA employees, government workers need a lot more than tips. An analysis from The Washington Post revealed that approximately 110,000 of the employees earn less than $50,000 per year. Missing any paycheck can create serious financial stress.

Some banks are aiming to reduce those worries by offering assistance to government employees. Andy Aldridge, a senior vice president of corporate communications at BoA, told me that the bank is working to determine how to help government employees with a simple cash advance option with their credit cards. While I would usually put cash advances in the “never do this with your credit card” category, Aldridge indicated that BofA is aiming to create a system that lowers interest rates to give customers more attractive terms.

While those details aren’t finalized yet, Aldridge said that BofA customers can call the client assistance program at 844-219-0690 for the following help:

  • Waiving fees for credit cards and offering increases in credit lines
  • Waiving checking account overdraft fees
  • Waiving auto loan payments for up to two months
  • Waiving mortgage payments and home equity payments for up to three months

“We are not charging fees and are not reporting to credit bureaus,” Aldridge said.

Case-by-Case Basis

Other national banks and credit card issuers are offering assistance, too, and evaluating each customer’s financial situation. “Because every situation is different, Wells Fargo is assessing each customers’ individual needs and working with them on a solution,” Ann Wasik, a spokesperson for the bank told TPG. “The company offers options on all loan types to help customers avoid the negative consequences of missing a payment, such as late fees, negative credit reporting, auto repossession and foreclosure.”

Wasik said that Wells Fargo will not apply late charges or report negative behavior to credit bureaus for 90 days. In addition to waiving late fees, monthly service fees and a range of other standard customer expenses, Wasik said that Wells Fargo will work with credit card holders and mortgage customers to determine short- or long-term assistance options.

At PNC, customers who are impacted by the shutdown can also find some relief. Like Wells Fargo, the bank is reviewing each customer’s needs. Government employees should call 888-762-2265 to discuss their needs.

Small Banks Offer Big Assistance, Too

While nationally recognized credit card issuers are taking steps to help those in need, some smaller institutions are working to make a big impact too. For example, Colorado’s Alpine Bank set aside $5 million for a program that will offer six-month, 0% interest loans to government employees, and government employees at First Oklahoma Bank will still receive their paychecks. They’ll just be coming from the bank instead.

What to Do If You’re a Government Employee

If you’re missing your paycheck, you should call your bank to discuss options. Chase issued a statement inviting customers who have been impacted to contact the bank directly at 888-356-0023, while American Express, Capital One and Citi all have similar notices on their websites.

Even if your institution isn’t mentioned in this article, chances are that you’ll find some type of assistance from the phone number on the back of your credit card. And at TPG, our fingers are crossed that your paychecks return to normal very soon.

Featured image courtesy of Kevin Voelker Photography via Getty Images.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.