Colorado bank will match federal workers’ paychecks with zero-interest loan

DENVER -- Meghan Stemple carries a heavy weight for her family. Her husband is a sub-contractor, and so her job at the IRS call center in Denver is their steady form of income. On Friday, she missed her first paycheck due to the partial government shutdown.

“How am I going to pay my daughter’s tuition?” Stemple said. “Luckily, my landlords... I’ve spoken with them. They’re willing to forgo late fees. I’ve spoken with utilities people, creditors, you know, they’re all understanding. But stuff is still piling up. I just don’t know where to turn for assistance. That adds to the stress and hopelessness.”

But there is hope for Colorado families missing those paychecks. Glenwood Springs-based Alpine Bank will fund loans on the spot for federal employees if they bring in their federal and regular IDs, along with their last pay slip. The bank is willing to match up to the first 30 days of normal scheduled pay, creating a zero interest loan that will need to be paid back within six months of the government reopening. 

The offer is available to all furloughed federal employees, but those who are not already customers need to set up a checking account before getting the loan.

“That takes a tremendous load off,” Stemple said when she head the news. “It’s amazing, it’s a miracle. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest with all that stress.”

Regional President for Alpine Bank Mark Teeters said the people affected by the shutdown include bank employees' friends and neighbors.

“It’s the smallest gesture we can do to help out those in our community in a time of need," said Teeters.

A full list of Colorado businesses and organizations with offers for furloughed workers can be viewed here.

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