Community Development Revolving Loan grants assist NW CUs

Community Development Revolving Loan grants assist NW CUs

June 6, 2018

The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) reports that its member credit unions have taken advantage of the NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund to provide needed services to their memberships. 

When Pocatello (Idaho) Simplot CU’s leadership team decided it was time for a new mobile banking app, they turned to the loan fund for a $7,500 grant, the NWCUA reported in its Anthem newsletter. 

“Most of our members work inside fertilizer plants or mines in remote locations,” said Amy Wellard, Pocatello Simplot president/CEO. “They don’t sit down in offices where they have access to a computer daily. They wanted on-the-go access and now they are thrilled to have access to their accounts with a single swipe on a smartphone.” 

Keeping up with technology can be difficult for smaller credit unions, Wellard noted, but said the process of applying was straight forward. She encourages other credit unions not to be intimidated by the process. 

The grant application cycle will be open July 1 through Aug. 18. NCUA will host a free, informational webinar on June 13. Registration is open online. 

Portland, Ore.-based Consolidated Community CU used grants to put an ATM in a sponsoring company where its members complete over 300 transactions a month. An NCUA grant also helped Consolidated to upgrade its Remote Deposit Capture software. 

Last year, the credit union hoped an NCUA grant would help to expand its affordable housing loan program, but that application was unsuccessful. 

President/CEO Larry Ellifritz picked up the phone and called NCUA to find out why. 

“It was extremely helpful in understanding the process and will help us with future applications,” Ellifritz said. “That would be my advice. If you do not win, don’t be afraid to ask why.”