To help furloughed federal workers cope with the government shutdown, some Wisconsin financial institutions are offering low-cost loans and other assistance.

With Congress and the White House continuing to feud over money to build a wall on the Mexican border, the shutdown stemming from the dispute now is in its fourth week, making it the longest in history. That is leaving thousands of federal workers without paychecks they count on to stay current with mortgages, bills, and other living expenses.

Some banks and credit unions have stepped in with special loans to help them get through the pay-less period. Others say they're talking with affected customers individually to figure out the best way to deal with the suspension of wages.

“Wisconsin’s banks always step up to offer a helping hand, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a natural disaster or a man-made event," said Rose Oswald Poels, president and chief executive of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. "Many Wisconsin banks have reached out directly to their customers and communities to help them weather the federal government shutdown. Some are offering special loans while others are adjusting the monthly payments on current loans. Banks are simply helping out any way they can.”

The state bankers group was surveying its members Tuesday afternoon to get a better picture of how the industry is dealing with the fallout from the shutdown. The full results are expected to be posted on the website

Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.