Colorado-based Alpine Bank offers interest-free loan to federal employees

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jan 10, 2019

DENVER -- It's Day 20 of the partial government shutdown and federal workers are not getting their paychecks on Friday, but their bills are still coming.

"I'm available until the federal government reopens for business," said the post on Nextdoor by Sheri Lohman, a federal employee now offering cat sitting and dog sitting services on her Nextdoor site to help make ends meet.

"When you don't have any money coming in you're counting every penny," said Lohman.

For more than a decade, she’s worked downtown for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but her next paycheck isn’t coming Friday, leaving her: “Really, really stressed. Really stressed. I had a savings account about six months ago, and then things happened. I had a surgery and cats were sick, and that savings is not there anymore."

Lohman’s asking family for help and trying to find side gigs, but feels out of options.

"I was at the grocery store just yesterday and there was probably $50 worth of stuff I couldn't buy," she said.

Now, though, help is coming for federal workers like Lohman from some unexpected places, including a Colorado bank giving interest-free loans to all Colorado federal workers.

“We have an obligation as a community bank to help our communities," said Matt Teeters, Alpine Bank’s Regional President, who said the bank has set aside $5 million to help, all workers have to do is bring in their last paystub.

“There is no catch. We give them two of their paychecks or 30 days worth of pay, and ask them to pay it back within six months,” said Teeters.

Other financial institutions are also stepping up to help.

Congressional Federal Credit Union and U.S. Employees Credit Union are also offering interest-free loans to members.

Some banks, including Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo, are offering some relief or assistance for federal workers.

“I think that’s fabulous,” said Lohman. “I’ve exhausted my resources right now. Anything would help.”