Homebuyers, students could be affected by federal shutdown

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It’s not just federal workers who are affected by the shutdown.

Everyone from homebuyers to students are finding themselves in a pickle.

University of Hawaii student Chelsea Hale tries to study, even though she’s worried about what could happen next month.

“I will not be getting my veterans benefits and my husband won’t be getting his extra benefits for going to school,” Hale said.

If the federal shutdown continues through November, Hale probably won’t receive $1,250 in benefits and her husband won’t be able to pay for his tuition.

“If people don’t have student loans, they’re not going to go to school,” UH student Shelby Montgomery said.

Others who receive federal student loans and Pell Grants could be denied later if there’s no one working to process loans or the money runs out.

“I would probably ask for my parents help,” UH student Brittany Supnet said.

Speaking of loans, if you’re a homebuyer who’s in the process of getting a loan…

“We’ve been receiving notices from the lenders saying there could be delays, especially in the government programs. FHA, VA, USDA seems to be where there’s the most effects,” said Tiare Fullerton of Mortgage Associates of Hawaii.

Even if you’ve already been approved for a loan, if there’s no one in that specific federal department, the loan will not be closing.

Another setback for homebuyers is coming from the IRS. All loan applicants must have income taxes verified by the IRS. But guess what happens when you call?

“Due to the current budget situation, all IRS offices are closed. We will resume normal operations as soon as possible,” the automated IRS message said.

But you’re still expected to hand in your tax return by Oct. 15, if you’re on extension. Any refund, will likely be delayed and the IRS won’t be conducting any audits.

Meanwhile, local residents hope lawmakers work things out and hear their plea.

“Just try and figure it out. Come up with the best solution and do it quickly because it’s affecting more than just a few of us,” Hale said.

If you’re unsure about the status of your home loan, call your loan officer.

If you’re a student, contact the financial aid office.

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