American Consumer Credit Counseling offers financial advice for federal workers trying to navigate the government shutdown
Boston, MA – January 10, 2019
Since there is currently no end in sight for the partial government shutdown, more than 800,000 federal employees across the country will not receive a paycheck this Friday. Not all impacted workers will be able to count on retroactive pay after the shutdown ends, which means the road to financial recovery could be long and difficult – particularly for furloughed employees. To help, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling offers tips on how to financially navigate the government shutdown.
“Though the government shutdown is extraordinarily stressful for hundreds of thousands of Americans, there are some important steps that workers can take to help weather this financial storm,” said Steve Tumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Be aware and be proactive. It is important to contact creditors before you have any missed payments and utilize all resources from credit counselors. Be prepared to dive into your emergency fund if you have one.”
The government shutdown is particularly difficult since most American families rely on each paycheck to get by. A full 78 percent of U.S. workers say they live paycheck to paycheck, according to a 2017 report by employment website CareerBuilder. Just as concerning, almost 4 in 10 Americans are unable to cover a $400 unexpected expense, according to the Federal Reserve Board. This means that some federal employees have likely already drained their savings in an attempt to remain financially stable. A survey by Bankrate.com found that only 18 percent of Americans have enough saved for an emergency to cover three to five months.
ACCC provides tips on financially navigating the government shutdown.
- Contact creditors – Immediately reach out to all creditors before payments are missed, such as credit cards, mortgages, car loans, etc.
- Switch to an emergency budget – Revisit your budget and list all of your monthly expenses, including bills and debt as well as food, clothing and household items. Create a new budget that includes only the bare necessities you absolutely need and must pay for.
- Cut back on spending – Take a look at the last couple months of spending and cut out everything you can live without. Essential expenses include things such as utilities, transportation, mortgage or rent payments and food. Look at some of your spending and decide if you really need to be paying for things like cable, other entertainment, or personal care during this time.
- Community resources – See if there are any charities out there offering guidance or businesses offering discounts or free services. There are a variety of businesses that are offering free or discounted meals, programs, and services to government employees impacted by the shutdown.
- Take inventory – Take inventory of your skills and see if there is any freelance or side work during the interim.
- Get professional financial assistance – Every financial situation is different. ACCC can help furloughed federal employees with budgeting and financial counseling if you are having trouble making ends meet.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling and student loan counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit https://www.consumercredit.com/debt-resources-tools/