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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper

NCUA: Second Streamlined CDFI Round Now Open

The National Credit Union Administration opened its second application round for eligible credit unions that want to qualify to use the agency’s streamlined process for Community Development Financial Institution certification.

Federally insured, low-income-designated credit unions can find all the necessary information about CDFI qualification in the NCUA’s online program guide(opens new window). The application round closes on Oct. 17.

To qualify, eligible credit unions should submit their loan-origination data to the NCUA by email to using the agency’s secured email encryption system and complete an online Participation Form(opens new window).

The Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion will analyze each applicant credit union’s products, services, and other indicators to determine whether it qualifies for the streamlined application process. The NCUA 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.

Credit unions that do not qualify for the streamline process may still use the standard CDFI certification application(opens new window).

Having the CDFI certification opens a window of opportunity for CDFIs through a variety of programs. For example, a CDFI-certified credit union may apply for technical assistance and competitive financial awards, up to $125,000 and $2 million respectively. These awards enable your credit union to finance a wide range of activities—including mortgage lending for first-time homebuyers, flexible underwriting for community facilities, and commercial loans for businesses in low-income areas — that enhance the credit union’s capacity to provide underserved communities with access to safe, higher quality financial services. The CDFI certification can also benefit credit unions through other indirect awards and programs.

During the qualification process, the NCUA analyzes a credit union’s lending activities, among other indicators. This analysis determines whether your credit union is a strong candidate to use the streamlined CDFI certification application. To participate in the qualification process, credit unions must provide the NCUA with a defined set of loan information to analyze. If the results of your credit union’s analysis satisfies the qualification criteria, then your credit union will be allowed to use the streamlined certification application. The NCUA will provide qualified credit unions with the necessary information to complete and submit the streamlined certification application to the CDFI Fund. The CDFI Fund is the sole authority of your credit union’s CDFI certification status.

The streamlined application process, developed by the NCUA and the CDFI Fund, has helped 58 credit unions obtain CDFI certification.

Credit unions that obtain certification may apply for the CDFI Fund’s training and competitive award programs. These resources can enhance credit unions’ capacity to provide insured, affordable financial services to unserved or underserved communities. The Fund’s webpage(opens new window) has complete information.

Contact Kristin Cooper for more information:

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