Federally insured, low-income credit unions seeking Community Development Financial Institution certification can apply to use the National Credit Union Administration’s streamlined qualification process beginning Jan. 24.
CDFI certification makes credit unions eligible for CDFI Fund training and competitive award programs that enhance their capacity to provide underserved communities with access to insured, affordable financial services. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 authorizes additional COVID-19 relief funding for community development financial institutions that predominantly serve minority communities.
Approximately a third of this additional funding includes a set aside for smaller financial institutions with less than $2 billion in assets.
NCUA’s program guide has instructions explaining the streamlined qualification process. The deadline for streamlined certification applications is April 3. Credit unions that do not qualify to use the streamlined process may still use the standard CDFI certification application.
To qualify for the streamlined process, low-income-designated credit unions submit loan originations to the NCUA by email to CURECDFI@ncua.gov and complete an online participation form. The Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion then analyzes each credit union’s products, services, and other indicators to determine whether it qualifies to use the streamlined certification application.
The office will provide qualified credit unions with the necessary information to complete and submit the streamlined certification application to the CDFI Fund, which will make the final determination on certification.