The advice for federal workers impacted by the shutdown: Contact your bank ASAP

The advice for federal workers impacted by the shutdown: Contact your bank ASAP
Neal Okabayashi of the Hawaii Bankers Association says federal workers should call their banks quickly. (Image: Hawaii News Now) (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii banks have set up special programs to help federal workers affected by the ongoing government shutdown.

And they’ve got a message for employees who aren’t getting paid: Reach out now.

Neal Okabayashi, executive director of the Hawaii Bankers Association, said workers will just start to feel the pinch now with no paycheck Friday and many mortgage payments due at the beginning of next month.

[Read more: As shutdown drags on, Hawaii banks offer mortgage relief, low-interest loans]

There's no rush of panicked calls now, but he warns workers shouldn't wait to call their bank.

"One thing we are urging is they contact their bank quickly because the banks are going to have to talk to the workers and see what their situation is," said Okabayashi.

“I think the concern is they all come rushing in then we’ll have a backlog.”

Bank of Hawaii says affected workers may defer loan payments for up to three months for residential mortgages and home equity loans. There's also loan extensions for personal or auto loans. Other banks have similar programs.

"The bank will look at everyone's situation and say okay and we'll try to work with them," said Okabayashi.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday a prolonged shutdown will hurt the economy. For now, the impacts are just starting to be felt.

"The people who will suffer the most are employees of federal contractors because it's likely they won't get their back pay," said Okabayashi.

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