USAA to offer free pay advances for active duty

(KGTV) - USAA says it is prepared to offer active duty military free paycheck advances if the Federal Government shuts down for the first time since 2013.

United States Automobile Association spokesman Roger Wildermuth confirmed the offer, which it also extended during the October 2013 shutdown.

Back then, Congress had approved a bill guaranteeing military backpay, but has not approved such an action this time. Wildermuth said it would not affect the offer.

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Phil Kendro, who was an active duty marine in 2013, recalled many of the banks, including USAA and Navy Federal, were offering the free advances.

A call to Navy Federal to ask about 2017 wasn't immediately returned.

"Most of these shut downs have been pretty temporary," said Kendro, now working for a defense contractor. "I don't suppose anybody's going to be skipping out on the movies or going out to dinner."

RELATED: This is what happens during a U.S. government shutdown

Tony Cherin, a finance professor at San Diego State, said any shutdown longer than a month could have an outsize impact on the local economy.

"Is that paycheck going to be late? Is that paycheck going to be paid? When is it going to be paid? and so on," Cherin said, noting a month would be when 

Right now, about 46,000 civilian workers have jobs with the federal government, about half of which work for the Department of Defense. Only those with jobs deemed essential, like air-traffic controllers and TSA agents, will get hours.

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In 2013, the civilian workers who were furloughed for the two-week shutdown did ultimately get backpay.  

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