Affected by the shutdown? Give your bank a call to see if this can help.

Financial institutions treat the partial elimination of the government as a natural disaster and offer the affected customers everything from non-interest-free loans to waivers of reimbursements.

Some institutions even try to proactively contact customers who feel a financial malaise due to the shutdown.

Bank of America said it has emailed every customer – nearly 260,000 – who receives federal payroll funds that have been deposited directly into their account. The bank encourages people to call their "Client Assistance Program" on 844-219-0690. For personalized assistance, the bank proposes that customers make an appointment for an appointment with a specialist in a local office.

But what if your bank does not contact you directly?

Then you calling – something people often do not do until things are pretty bad.

In my experience, many people say that it makes no sense to contact their lenders when they are in financial trouble. They reason that they do not get useful help, so why bother? However, these are extraordinary times, just as when a hurricane strikes. Call anyway, because being quiet will certainly not offer the help you need.

In fact, there is even pressure on financial institutions to help those who suffer from this shutdown mess under their fault.

Federal and national regulatory authorities – including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration – have issued a joint statement in which the institutions they control are encouraged to cooperate with consumers affected by the federal shutdown.

"Affected borrowers may experience temporary problems when making payments on debts such as mortgages, student loans, car loans, business loans or credit cards," the statement said. "As they have done in previous shutdowns, the agencies encourage financial institutions to consider prudent efforts to adjust conditions to existing loans or to make new loans to help affected borrowers."

Chase tells customers whose income has come under pressure due to the shutdown to call to discuss his hardships. Chase has a special care line at 1-888-356-0023.

"We proactively discount bank overdrafts and monthly account fees for our payment accounts (check, save), which we know you are a federal government employee," said Trish Wexler, Chase's Chief Communications Officer, in an e-mail. "We started doing this in mid December, right after the shutdown started.The way we determine who a federal employee is, is to look for direct deposits on the account (from November 2018) of a federal government salary. # 39;

Wexler said that if the impact of customers who have a salary that is deposited at another institution, they can still qualify for the benefits if they call the special line of the bank. Chase eliminates these costs for you and reimburses all costs that you have already been charged, she said.

"The support we provide reflects what we do for victims of hurricanes, forest fires and other situations where our customers need some illumination and scope from us," she said.

The bank asks customers with a loan affected by the shutdown to also call the hotline.

"Since we do not know who these specific customers are, they should call us to get this kind of help," she added.

Wexler said the telephone lines are "manned by people who are only focused on this, and who can help our customers avoid damage that could result from missing their salary."

For example, if you have a mortgage with Chase, specialists using the lines are authorized to do things, such as missing your mortgage payment until you are paid. They can also waive and pay back any late fees and suppress the reporting to the credit bureaus.

Other national banks and credit unions have made similar promises for help. Providence Bank in New Jersey offers a maximum of two repayments of overdue payments for mortgage loans and mortgages. Engaged employees can also qualify for up to three refunds when checking bank overdrafts and up to two refunds on overdue credit card payments.

The Bank of Hawaii offers financial utilities for federal or contract employees with a personal loan of up to $ 5,000 at a fixed interest rate of 3 percent. The term of the loan is 27 months, no payments are due during the first three months. The bank also has a "long-suffering program", whereby affected employees can defer payments for up to three months for residential mortgages, loans for home loans and equity accounts for depreciation. Customers can also provide personal or automatic loans for up to three months.

Do not wait for the closure to create a financial crisis for you. Even if it's good, you can now call your bank or credit union so that you know which options are available if you do not have any more savings.