Outgoing FEEA loans almost triple since May

Wednesday - 7/31/2013, 2:53pm EDT

By Melissa Dawkins
Special to Federal News Radio

The Federal Employee Education and Assistance fund hit record furlough aid distributions this month, processing more than 148 furlough-related loans in July totaling $87,000, according to a press release.

Furlough and non-furlough assistance totaled more than $119,000 in July — the highest FEEA one-month record of outgoing dollars in its 28-year history — according to a July 31 press release. Total assistance provided by FEEA amounted to $90,000 in June and $42,000 in May, according to an earlier release.

Furloughed DoD employees in need of assistance are contributing to the rapid growth of outgoing dollars, according to the release. DoD requires their 680,000 civilian employees to take 11 unpaid days by Sept. 30.

FEEA provides emergency loans to federal employees who are struggling to meet basic living expenses. In addition to loans for feds in non-furlough financial duress, FEEA provides up to $1,000 in interest-free loans to furloughed government employees who have received at least one reduced paycheck and have been employed by the government for at least one year. The loans are paid directly to the creditors the individual is behind in paying.

FEEA relies on donations from individual federal employees as well as corporations. Federal News Radio is one of FEEA's six listed corporate sponsors. While donations from corporate sponsors are up this year compared to last, FEEA needs more donations in order to keep pace with federal employee loan demands.

"It's difficult for us to raise money in these circumstances since our donors are primarily feds themselves," FEEA director Steve Bauer said in the release. "With nearly half the federal workforce facing furloughs, we are even more grateful every day that many of those who won't be furloughed are choosing to help their fellow feds through FEEA."

FEEA raised $103,000 during its annual May campaign, and raised more than $71,000 in additional donations since then, the release said.

FEEA provided more than $139,000 in furlough-related loans to 234 federal employees from 10 agencies in 28 states since May 1. Total loans for the same time span equated $251,000, according to the release.

To find out more about furlough loans or donating to FEEA, visit Federal News Radio's Surviving Furloughs page.

Melissa Dawkins is an intern for Federal News Radio

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