As shutdown ends, Maine CUs praised for willingness to help impacted state workers

July 5, 2017

The willingness of Maine CUs to provide assistance in a variety of forms to state workers impacted or concerned by the shutdown of Maine State government is receiving significant praise including from a number of legislators sharing links to local CUs.  "Once again, Maine credit unions focused on helping consumers during a difficult time," remarked Todd Mason, President of the Maine CU League.

Throughout the shutdown and leading up to it, a number of Maine CUs were proactively letting any workers impacted by the shutdown of special loans and other assistance that was available.  Maine State Credit Union in Augusta, whose membership is comprised of nearly 40% of state workers, offered a 0% Maine State Employee Loan.  "We prepared to offer assistance since talk of a possible shutdown began.  This loan was available to members and non-members (though they had to become a member to be eligible).  We wanted to make sure that people had the ability to pay bills and meet obligations," remarked Tucker Cole, President/CEO of Maine State CU in Augusta. 

Though much of the focus was on state workers in Augusta, credit unions across Maine offered assistance.  "We have members who are state employees so we want to help in any way we can.  We offered a 0% government shutdown loan and skip-a-pay for members impacted by the shutdown," said Scott Chretien, President/CEO of York County FCU, based in Sanford.  Gene Ardito, President/CEO of cPort CU, which is headquartered in Portland but has a branch in Augusta, said his credit union has offered similar assistance in the past, most recently when the federal government shutdown several years ago.

The cooperative campaign included participation from most Maine CUs and assistance provided varies by credit union.  Programs included no or low interest payday loans, loan extensions and modifications, skip-a-pay and other offerings.  The Hashtag #CUs4ME was popular on social media, as it identified the efforts of Maine CUs.

"We are very glad that the shutdown has ended, but proud of credit unions throughout Maine who provided assistance and were prepared to provide additional help had it continued for an extended period of time," added Mason.