Zurndorfer recommends that employees contact their lender and explain the situation.
“When I was with the federal government, I had a car loan … that was being paid back through payroll deduction,” he said. “When the government shut down, I was out of work for about three weeks, so I missed one paycheck. I contacted the lender, and they said, ‘You’re not the first person to contact us. We’re aware of it. We’ll work with you. Just keep us informed as to when the next payment will be once you go back to work.’ They were very open.”
Save for a rainy day
For federal employees who are working without pay, many are incurring travel expenses that under normal circumstances would be reimbursed. But during the shutdown, reimbursements are put on hold.
To pay for these, employees need to dip into their savings until the shutdown ends and they can receive compensation.
“Every employee should have a minimum of six months of their average monthly expenses in a liquid savings account or a money market account. The way things are going right now, I’m more inclined to say employees should have a year’s worth of savings set aside. Because it seems like these things are popping up all the time now,” Zurndorfer said.
Think twice before borrowing against your TSP
“I’m a firm believer that one should not borrow against one’s TSP,” he said.